tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN November 27, 2021 2:00am-3:00am PST
♪ live from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, welcome to all of you watching us here in the united states, canada and around the world. i'm kim brunhuber. this is "cnn newsroom." a variant of concern. health officials around the world are working to learn more about the covid omicron variant. meanwhile, more countries are restricting flights from southern africa. plus, what's being done to invite a rash of smash and grab
robberies across the united states. live from cnn center, this is "cnn newsroom" with kim brunhuber. as a new coronavirus variant captured the world's attention, 61 travelers from south africa have tested positive for covid in an airport in the netherlands. dutch health authorities say those positive test results will be examined as soon as possible to see if they're potentially infected with the new omicron variant. the w.h.o. is calling it the variant of concern, as they put it. it was first identified in south africa and now has been detected in several other countries in the region and around the world, including israel, hong kong and belgium. now, we don't know whether it's any more deadly or whether it can blunt vaccine efficacy or immunity and that has the government scrambling to contain a potential threat. president joe biden said his administration is keeping a close eye on developments.
>> i've been advised. we're going to be cautious. we don't know a lot about the variant. except that it is a great concern. and that it spreads rapidly and has been a half ago, i met with my covid team. >> the u.s. is restricting travel beginning on monday, australia, canada, brazil and several countries in asia are doing much the same. cnn has the story covered around the world. will ripley is joining from us hong kong where two cases of the variant have been confirmed. nala brashear is there with reaction. and david mckenzie in south africa. david, south africa dealing with two variants, the main variant itself and the travel ban.
>> reporter: that's right, a lot of scientists in south africa are waking up today and government officials and feeling they've been punished about being transparent about the new variant discovered in south africa, but unclear where it originated from. and you have that disturbing news from some 600 passengers plying into the airport in amsterdam, 61 of them testing positive for covid-19, unclear which variant they had. this is really overnight, several countries, more countries, banning south africa and other regional countries from travel. it is a slip response to a worrying situation. >> reporter: in a world fatigued by waves of covid-19, n now renewed fear. in south africa, scientists identifying a troubling new variant of the virus. that is dominating infections here. >> the variant is of serious concern which is now driving this spike in numbers.
>> reporter: more than 30 mutations say scientists, in the spike protein alone. it's a worrying sign. scientists are working in labs like this one in south africa scrambling to confirm if the variant evades immunity from previous infections or crucially, if it weakens vaccine efficacy. definitive answers could take weeks. >> we think it may be a more times admissible virus and it may have some immune escape. now, we don't know for sure but that's what it looks like. >> the european commission has proposed to member states to activate the emergency break from travel to countries. >> reporter: the world is shutting its doors, countries all across the globe rapidly banning travelers from parts of frick ka, they say, to curb the spread of the variant.
now thousands are likely stranded. hundreds of passengers at the airport forced to sit on the tarmac before landing and then crowded into a covid testing site after the netherlands bans travel from south africa. the international air transport association saying that restrictions are not a long-term solution. they've already lost 1 billion to the pandemic. and anger in south africa, where officials call the bans d draconian, knee jerk reactions. >> what i find distressing for the year is not only the travel ban from the uk to europe, but that was the only reaction, the strongest reaction. and there was no word of the support that they're going to after to african countries to help us control the pandemic. >> reporter: countries in africa, now israel, hong kong and belgium have so far
confirmed cases of the variant. and, of course, now, the netherlands would have confirmed cases on their shores. while the travel bans make a lot of sentence to a lot of people and certainly politicians, here at least is what scientists have been telling me. they say to use the colllclichyr the horse was bolted, for the variant circulated before it was picked up, even though it was announced as quickly as scientists could do it. that means it's likely to be all over the place. at least these scientists say that it's too late to stop it. kim. >> all right, david mckenzie until johannesburg, thanks so much. i want to turn to cnn producer nana brashear in london. in light of the delta variant surging now something new to contend with. so, let's start with the latest on those cases in that flight in
the nethtserlands. >> absolutely, kim, europe and several countries have reported record numbers of daily cases being recorded. and now the new variant has us starting to question whether or not the government of europe will be able to keep control over the pandemic. you heard in david's reporting there have been some decisions from the w.h.o. in decisions, with hasty decisions, they've warned against that. but really, what they have learned with the european leaders, they have needed to act fact fast. with the restrictions on the flights to the south african region, saying if there's any lessons learned from the pandemic, it's the need to act early, at the earliest stage possible. and we've seen that reflected in the decision stain by the european union. that collective decision to impose travel restrictions.
and that's all concern over the potential spread of this variant. yes, we had the first confirmed case of the variant reported in europe, in belgium, there are concerns this will spread. we've seen this happen before, last winter, the spread of the delta variant. which really put health sectors under immense pressure. and as you mentioned the delta variant which is highly transmissible and now questions remain how transmissible this variant will be and the impact on efficacy. european leaders trying to get this under control. there's a cause and rising pressure now that we saw from last winter. if it does continue to spread, the fears that are being expressed by health officials if it does spiral out of control that is a serious worry for european leaders.
kim. >> nada brashir. let's go to will ripley in hong kong. will, you're quarantining in a hotel where it was. >> reporter: yeah, that was surprising to know. a man is on the fifth floor and a man in at opposite room tested positive as well, a man in his 60s. so health officials are puzzled to find out how the virus jumped to another room. is it going through the air ventilation system. they sent us notices that we need to rent air purifiers for the room if we want to exercise in the room. and they also question the mask. and they wonder if it was more contagious. it was detected in the hallway between the two rooms. we are allowed to open our doors.
of course, we're putting on masks, you have to change that mask. when you collect food or trash, outside the door, i stuck my arm out the door to show you how densely this is packed. every plastic covered chair you that see down the hallway, somebody is in the room there. therefore, you have a lot of people in a relatively close space. if there's concern about venv venti ventilation, that can be problematic. is this going to put hong kong's system to the test. hong kong already has one of the restrictest quarantines in the world. i'm on a 14-day quarantine because i'm considered from an island that is low risk. that's taiwan. most people have a 21-day quarantine. people down on the fifth floor, in the adjacent six rooms even after the positive cases after they complete their quarantine at the hotel they then have to go to the government facility
nor an additional 14-day isolation period. the hong kong government not taking any chances here. hoping to prevent some sort of an outbreak in this stert which has a zero covid strategy just like mainland china, which is kr concerned to get their local cases under control. and certainly not a reported case since with the olympics in three months. certainly, the variant is causing a lot of dredge for a lot of people here, people wanting to live their lives and not go back to the lockdowns that we lived through so many times during the pandemic, but also with this major sporting event coming up, kim. >> absolutely. will ripley live in hong kong, thanks so much. a physician at the california pacific medical center is a founder of the
endwellproject.org. thank you very much for being here. what did that mean when w.h.o. says that's a concerni ing variant. >> well, kim, omicron is a concerning variant. does it cause people to have more severe disease. and three, can it evade immune protection, and based on what we know, which in very much at this point, it seems to be spreading quickly isn't south africa which is a sign it hey be highly contagious. we don't know if it causes severe illness, it's too early to tell. and it's been reported in europe and asia. it has more than 50 mutations, the largest number of differences from the original virus that we've seen so far. and it has more mutations than we've ever seen in key regions of the virus, which is a red
flag that it can be more difficult for our immune systems to recognize if we get exposed to it. even if we receive a covid vaccine. we just don't know yet. the w.h.o. is proceeding with caution which is warranted, there's a lot of information that's still missing. and things will unfold over the next several days. >> yeah. so much we still don't know. i mean, some variants, you know, they didn't amount to much, some experts are saying if this is as different or as challenging as they think this might be, it might create a whole new pandemic. we may need to treat this like a whole new virus, i guess, depending on how it responds to the vaccine. >> well, kim, you know, this is a rapidly evolving situation with lots of different questions still. scientists across the world are looking very closely at this new variant of the coronavirus. they're sharing the secrets of this virus and what they know with each other.
right now, we know about the mutations, about 50 of them, which gives us a picture of the virus. and in order to confirm that, scientists need to test it in a lab and across the world, surveillance is around the world to see what vaccine is cropping up and to to neutralize this warranty. and we're going to to know more about this in the coming days and weeks. >> and for now, we're seeing countries rushing to issue these travel bans. some experts worn that travel bans aren't really the issue here. where do you stand on their effectiveness? >> well, kim, what i can tell you, in the u.s., covid cases are up around 30%. when thinking about travel ban, you know, i'm not so sure if that's the right approach. compared to a month ago, we're
way worse here in the u.s. than we were as we head into the holidays. what we do know, our current vaccines work really well against all of the other variants, alpha, beta and delta. and we know that getting a booster works better. the main takeaway for everyone if you haven't gotten boosted and you're six months out from pfizer or moderna and two months out from j&j you're encouraged to get that shot. everybody needs to show up with as much immune protection as they can for the holidays. >> yeah, absolutely. i guess the lesson here, if we needed yet another lesson here is basically, it underlines the importance of having the whole world, not just the developed countries, the whole world, being vaccinated here. otherwise, we're going to see more and more of these incubators of these different variants. >> kim, that's exactly right. we need to get as many vaccines
in arms across the globe as fast as we can. and the u.s. has done more than any other country to help other nations actually. we've already sent out more than 250 million doses of vaccines. we've committed to more than a billion more. we need do this not just for humanitarian reasons but for our self-interest, right? until the world is fully vaccinated we may have to contend with more problematic variants. >> as you said, so much we still don't know. appreciate you sharing the inspiration that you do have. doctor, thank you for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> the world springs into action in the face of that new covid threat with much more coverage on what's being done about the omicron variant. and a disturbing warning from the ukraine leader with an alleged plot to overflothrow hi governmentnt. we'll tell you who he says is
♪ ♪ hey i'm joe montana. when you get to be our age, you have little patience for nonsense and inefficiency. after years of practice you become a pro at pretty much everything. so when i qualified for medicare, i got wellcare. they're pros at making things streamlined, efficient and convenient. i don't even need to leave the house anymore, because wellcare offers great benefits like free grocery,
meal, and prescription delivery. [ doorbell rings ] i have your delivery. appreciate it. ♪ ♪ yeah! plus, a flex card to pay for extra dental, vision and hearing expenses. an over the counter allowance, and even giveback plans that put money back into your social security check every month. and if you need to see a doctor, you can get in-home visits and 24/7 virtual visits. wellcare is no nonsense. just great benefits and none of the hassles. wellcare is committed to getting rid of the nonsense and inconvenience associated with health insurance. instead, they're just focusing on giving you great benefits like free grocery, meal, and prescription delivery, an over-the-counter allowance that you can use on things like toothpaste, cold remedies,
and mouthwash, a flex card to use for your extra dental, vision, and hearing expenses, giveback plans that put money back into your social security check, and the ability to speak to a doctor from the safety and comfort of your own home with virtual visits. call for a free wellcare guide today. or visit our website at enrollwellcare.com. that's enrollwellcare.com. ♪ ♪ wellcare. it's medicare done well. ukraine's president is warning that a coup against him is planned to be carried out in a matter of days.
volodymyr zelensky said he's received intelligence indicating a group of russians and ukrainians are plotting the coup for beginning of december. it come as midheightened tensions among troops on the ukrainian border. cnn's matthew chance reports. >> reporter: these are disturbing allegations from the ukrainian president. a serious and new threat posed by russia, against his government. we have information that will soon be a coup in our country, he announced at a roundtable discussion with journalists. it's in just a few days, he said, on 0 are the 1st or 2nd of december. the kremlin denies any such plot. it's a dramatic escalation in a world of words, in a border poised with now president zelensky said he has intelligence, including an audio
recording of russians and ukrainians discussing a plot against him. but no evidence has been made public. and the richest man rinat akhmetov may have been involved something strenuously denied to cnn by akhmetov himself. the information made public by volodymyr zelensky about attempts to draw me into some kind of a coup is an absolute lie. the country's biggest investor, taxpayer and employer, akhmetov continues i will defend a free ukraine and do everything i can to prevent author terrorism and censorship. for years, ukraine has been fighting a trench war with russian-backed rebels in the country's east. it was a threat to holding back u.s. military aid that led to
former president trump's first impeachment. now saying russia is engaged in destabilizing inside of ukraine as well, against the zelensky government. it's one of the reasons the ukrainian leader seems on edge. conscious, yet enemies outside the country and within. but there are also fears he's using real concerns about russia to crack down on his opponents, too. matthew chance, cnn, london. the u.s. and its nato allies will be discussing ways to deter russia from further aggression at ukraine in a summit in latvia next week. yens stoltzenberg said the pressure is raising tensions and ones that moscow must de-escalate or there will be consequences. here's what he told cnn on friday. >> if they -- despite our clear message and the message for the
whole community decided to violate international norms and rules, and once again, use nato force against ukraine, then there will be costs. there will be consequences for russia. and there are different options that we can use. we saw after -- after 2014 when they invaded crimea, and occupied crimea, as part of ukraine, since then, all nato allies have imposed severe economic sanctions on russia. economic and financial sanctions, diplomatic actions. and also nato has implemented the biggest reinforcement since the end of the cold war. for the first time in history, we have battle groups. >> stoltenberg said nato is monitoring the russia activities at the ukrainian border. >> the diplomatic spat between
france and uk over how to handle migrant crossings is escalating. french president emmanuel macron has accused the british form of not taking the situation seriously after boris johnson posted a letter he wrote to macron on twitter. cnn's jim bittermann joins me from paris. jim, despite all of the accusations and finger pointing here, the two countries do need to make up and come back to the table, to solve this very real problem? >> reporter: absolutely, kim, the asylum seekers, the refugees are caught up in the middle here. they're being used as kind of pawns in the political battle back and forth between great britain and france. sand emmanuel macron and boris johnson have had a number of issues over this past few months here, including the submarine deal and the fishing rights and that sort of thing. and this is another issue which they draw sorts, which is an issue on both sides. i'll give you an example of what
president macron had to say. apparently, he was furious when this letter was publish here's what he said. >> translator: i am surprised at the methods where they are not serious. we don't communicate between one leader to another on these issues by tweeting and writing letters and making them public. we are not whistle-blowers. come on, come on. >> reporter: and so, that kind of rhetoric, you rarely hear in these kinds of diplomatic channels. it's amazing to hear president macron using those kind of words in a public forum like he was yesterday. so, we're going to have to, i think, see some kind of positive attitudes here on both sides, in order to get things going on the refugee situation. there's not a lot of things they can do. they're going to have to a large amount of discussion. the french belfelt and this is according to the spokesman
yesterday, that boris johnson was being two-faced. basically saying one thing in the telephone conversation with president macron two days ago and then writing another thing in the other. and one suggestion from one of the ambassadors from france to the uk, he said, why don't they just come up with a joint statement, at the end of these phone conversations, so that then people will be able to say, that's really what was discussed. kim. >> yeah. okay. so the uk won't be there at the table, this time, meetings of our european countries will still be going ahead. what kind of options do you expect them to discuss? >> reporter: well, it's really important that the uk be there. but is it they're not going to be there, one of the things they can talk about is the smuggling networks that are promoting these cross-channel refugee flights that we have seen. and they've got, to i think, come up with some ways to combat
the smuggling. one of the things that has come out of this traditigedy the oth day was that the boat, the rubber raft that was used, was purchased in germany. so, they've got in this conference that's supposed to take place tomorrow, germany, belgium and the european commission, basically talking about ways to break up the smuggling, to capture the smugglers who are tempting the refugees how easy it is and you're just crossing a lake. it's not a lake. it's a very dangerous place. and the refugees are taken for a ride with the smaugglers. kim. >> kim bittermann in paris, thank you so much. the u.s. closes the doors to travelers in south africa. how it's part of joe biden's plan to keep america safe from the new coronavirus variant.
with xfinity home, you can keep your home and everything in it more protected. i can wrangle all my deliveries. thanks, hoss! and i help walk the dog from wherever. *door unlocks* ♪ ♪ well, i can bust curfew-breakers in an instant. well, you all have xfinity home, with cameras to home security monitored by the pros. *laughs* learn more about home security or get our self-monitored solution starting at just $10 per month.
♪ welcome back to all of you watching us here in the united states, canada and wonder the world. i'm kim brunhuber. this is "cnn newsroom." our top story, the new coronavirus variant is grabbing the world's attention, the w.h.o. is calling the omicron variant a variant of concern, it was first identified in south africa, and now has been found
in several other regions. cases were found outside of the continent including hong kong and belgium and we don't know whether it can blunt efficacy or natural immunity and that has governments struggling to contain a threat limiting from south africa. and the united states is one of the places restricting travel. jeff zeleny has more on the effect that goes in effect on monday. >> reporter: president biden restricting travel coming from south africa and several other countries in the region, in the wake of what experts say is a steep concern of the new variant spreading of the coronavirus. the world health organization calls it a deep concern. scientists are simply wondering how lethal this is and can it spread be and more contagious than other strains of the coronavi
coronavirus. they simply don't know this, but the president vacationing off of nantucket, he took an opportunity to urge americans to get vaccinated. >> every american who is not vaccinated should be responsible and be vaccinated fromming a 5 years and up, number one. number two, everyone eligible for the booster shots should get them being eligible. that is a minimum that everyone should be doing. >> reporter: the president taking a brief time out of his thanksgiving vacation to meet with his covid-19 team in a virtual call including dr. anthony fauci. there simply isn't enough information as the president said. he said out of abundance of caution, they are imposing those travel restrictions to begin on monday on flights to the u.s. s jeff zeleny, cnn, nantucket, massachusetts. >> nows that travel ban doesn't
refer to united states residents. united, the only other major airline to operate from the region, the airport group says it has many unanswered questions about the new measures. and sweeping travel restrictions are going in effect in israel. an expert says that israel is now on the state of emergency as confirming its first omicron variant case. hamas gold reports. >> reporter: the government acting quickly. the person returned from malawi, the variant detected because earn person to tel aviv must get a pcr test before they can leave the airport. health officials say people with suspected cases are vaccinated and symptoms all mild. although a very small sample size. now, the israeli government is laying down sweeping new travel
restrictions especially banning travel from some northern countries. israelis returning to israel, will be required to enter full quarantine regardless of their vacate vaccination status. anyone returning is to submit to testing. and they were saying in a press conference they are preparing for the worst. >> this new b.1.1.529 variant is concerning and has the potential to be very dangerous. we are raising a red flag. we understand that we're on the verge of a state of emergency. we've been working together with other world leaders, and now is the time to act fast early, hard and strong. >> reporter: the prime minister adding that israel's government had recently actually carried out a national drill to prepare for the emergence of a new and dangerous variant. the new lesson learned to act immediately to tamp down on the
variants. hadas gold, cnn, jerusalem. the omicron variant is rattling global markets, wall street fell sharply with the dow suffering its worst day in a year. brent crude global benchmark and u.s. oil both fallen with the u.s. oil plunging 13%. richard quest has more on what's behind the drop. >> reporter: markets love certainty, and they've just been given an enormous dose of the opposite. great worries about what is likely to happen next with the omicron variant. the market fall starts in asia. it went rapidly through europe and into the united states. now, to be fair, it was a shortened trading session, the day after thanksgiving. and it was thin markets. so volatility was to be expected. but that shouldn't deny the underlying concern that there is.
will there need be more restrictions, more lockdowns, more measures as a result of omicron which could stifle recovery under way. so far, travel restrictions from various african countries have been put into place. even then, the w.h.o. says that's counterproductive. but it's easy to see why western politicians are more concerned with appearing to do the right thing, and shut the door, rather than whether it's actually going to be effective. richard quest, cnn, new york. they're in and out in a flash. and they leave with arm loads of expensive merchandise. how a series of smash and rob robberies has retailers and customers on edge. next here on "cnn newsroom." stay with us.
(man) stilill asleep. (woman vo) so, where to next? (vo) reflect on the past, celebrate the future. season's greetings from audi. because you're forever connected by love... two touching center diamonds, representing the connection you share. forever connected. the perfect gift to give this holiday. exclusively at kay.
switching wireless carriers is easy with xfinity. just lean on our helpful switch squad to help you save with xfinity mobile. they can help break up with your current carrier for you and transfer your info to your new phone. giving you a fast and easy experience that can save you hundreds a year on your wireless bill.
brings a different kind of holiday. black friday. the day traditionally signifies the kickoff to holiday shopping season. this was the scene at the mall of america on friday. clothing led the way with 86% increase over last year. with supply chain bottlenecks and fears of inflation, shoppers, might find higher costs and effort shelves. alison kosik has the details. >> reporter: despite the fact that we're paying more for almost everything, consumers are shopping like crazy. the national retail federation is expecting this holiday season to see spending break records. consumers are expected to spend anywhere between 843 to $859 billion by the time this holiday shopping season is over. black friday expected to see 108 million people shop with 60% of those shopping isn't stores. why? unlike previous years where
online shopping was king, now people want to go into stores and actually buy their products because they don't think that those products purchased online will actually arrive on time. retailers have been plagued by supply chain issues, meaning that the hiccups in the supply chain were making it really difficult for retailers to stock up on inventory. that it really depended on which retailers. the big box retailers like walmart, target, costco and macy's, they got creative and were able to stock up on their inventory. one of the creative ways they did this, they went ahead and chartered private cargo ships just to move their merchandise across the globe. i spoke to macy's ceo, who talked to me about the creative ways they got around the issue. >> we moved up ship dates 30 days to ensure it's here for the holidays. that's helping to get it in or
stack and in our stores. across all of the country, we're well stocked. >> reporter: one demand, fewer incentives by retailers to discount their products. alison kosik, cnn, new york. while some stores are celebrating full shelves and happy shoppers others are facing a new and dangerous problem. over the past few weeks high-end retailers have seen an uptick in brazen smash and grab style robberies by organized gangs of thieves. brian todd reports. >> reporter: on the left, thieves violently hack away at a jewelry counter's glass case near san francisco. on the right, several perpetrators ransack a louis vuitton store. at this nodstrom's store in canoga park near l.a.
>> they came in the door behind me, took several high-end purses, fortunately, we do have a security guard that was here working for nordstrom's that was attacked by the suspects. >> reporter: and at least one of the suspects was wearing an orange wig. the same day at an apple store in santa rosa, california, north of san francisco, people stole $26,000 worth of merchandise. police say those suspects were between 14 and 18 years of age. this is all part of a wave of so-called smash and grab rob byes at high-end stores in recent days in california and illinois. hits that were disturbing for the apparent level of coordination the number of people involved. >> yeah. i probably saw 50 to 80 people in ski masks crowbars they were
looting the nordstrom's. >> reporter: at least three rob eye roberies. >> now i'm reluctant to come to nordstrom's or the mall for that matter to make purchases. >> reporter: san francisco police said his department has made some arrest it's and recovered millions of dollars in stolen property. asked by cnn who's carrying out the burglaries he said it ranges from common thieves at the lower end to sophisticated organized groups at the top. >> there has to be a degree of organization in that. you know, there's no way in my mind that we can have a situation where 20, you know, up to 80 people can invade a store, or series of stores, and they're not seeing some communication of some organization. >> reporter: law enforcement analysts say some of this could be copycat burglaries. they say these kinds of hits are hard to guard against. security and police deployments are being ramped up at malls across the country during the busy holiday shopping season.
one analyst says customers can help. >> they should always be sensitive to their surroundings. if it goes down while you're in the store or nearby, stay out of the way. if you are in a position to take a photo that would be helpful to police or just observe what you're doing. >> reporter: we reached out to nordstrom's to ask about any enhanced security measures the chain may be taking to guard against the robberies and ask about whether there's a possibility with an inside job with some of these hits. they didn't get back to us. analysts say one thing lawmaker is likely doing is monitoring social media for signs of possible coordination. and signs of anyone bragging about these burglaries. brian todd, cnn, bethesda, maryland. when stephen sondheim wrote for the broadway stage, it was much more than a little night music. just ahead, a giant of the theater has taken a final bow. we'll remember stephen sondheim. ♪ find gifts they'll love, at savings you'll love.
hi i'm joe montana. when you get to be 65, you have little patience for nonsense and inefficiency. you know what works and you become a pro at pretty much everything. ♪ ♪ that's why when i qualified for medicare, i went with wellcare. ♪ ♪ with no cost or low monthly premium plans, and no primary care or prescription copays. they're pros at helping you keep more money in your pocket. ♪ ♪
yeah! other benefits include an over-the-counter allowance for items like toothpaste, cold remedies, and mouthwash. a flex card to pay for extra dental, vision, and hearing expenses. even giveback plans that send money directly to your social security check. you heard it straight from joe the pro montana himself, legendary quarterback and actual wellcare member. wellcare is a no-nonsense medicare insurance provider that's committed to giving you great benefits like $0 or low monthly premiums, and $0 or low copays on prescriptions and primary care visits, just to name a few. and all of that comes without any of the hassles. so beat that! don't wait! be like joe the pro and make the right call. hey, how are you doing? appreciate it. ♪ ♪
yeah! wellcare gets it. they get rid of all the hassles and give us the great benefits that we want. dial the number on your screen now to request a free wellcare guide today. or visit our website at enrollwellcare.com. that's enrollwellcare.com. wellcare. it's medicare done well. ♪ ♪ in america ♪ ♪ in america ♪ ♪ the biting yet inspiring
song "america" from "west side story." stephen sondheim broke through on broadway with his lyrics for the classic musical. now, we've learned that sondheim has died at 91 in connecticut. 61 years later, sondheim is known as one of the greatest lyricists in the history of american theater. stephanie elam looks back at his extraordinary career. ♪ >> reporter: stephen sondheim was one of musical theater's most prolific and successful writers, winning eight tony awards, eight grammy awards, an academy award, a pulitzer prize for drama, and in 2015 the presidential medal of freedom. sondheim was born on march 22nd, 1930, in new york city. his parents divorced in 1942, and he moved to pennsylvania with his mother. in pennsylvania, he became friends with james hammerstein, the son of lyricist oscar hammerstein.
throughout his teen years, his relationship with his mother deteriorated, and eventually the two became estranged. but oscar hammerstein was a constand figure, encouraging sondheim's musical talents throughout high school and college. >> if it hadn't been for the hammersteins, i don't know where i would be, if i'd even alive. ♪ everything free in america ♪ >> reporter: sondheim's big break came when he wrote the lyrics for the broadway show "west side story" in 1957. then in 1962, he expanded his red repertoire and for the first time he wrote the lyrics and composed the music for "a funny thing happened on the way to the forum." in 1970, hsondheim became a
collaboration with theater producer hal prince that lasted more than a decade. their 1973 play, "a little night music," was composed mostly in waltz time and became one of their biggest commercial successes. it featured the hit "send in the clowns," one of sondheim's best-known songs. ♪ you here at last on the ground ♪ >> reporter: in 1979, sondheim wrote what was probably broadway's first musical thriller, "sweeney todd." the story of an english barber and serial killer. ♪ see the sunshine how he smiled ♪ >> what's great about the theater is it's a living organism, whereas movies and television are as if in amber. it's not that they're dead, but they're only alive in one shape, form, and tone. every time you see a movie, they're giving the same performance as they did the last time you saw them. not true of a show. >> reporter: inspiration was everywhere for sondheim. in 1984, moved by a famous
painting by george seurat, he penned the lyrics for "sunday in the park with george." ♪ for that inventive stage craft, he won the pulitzer prize for drama. in 1987, he wrote the broadway hit, "into the woods," based on the fables of the brothers grimm. ♪ >> reporter: late in sondheim's career, lin-manuel miranda approached him with something he was working on, a musical then called "the hamilton mix tape." sondheim mentored miranda just as hammerstein had done for him. from waltzes to rap, inspired by everything from serial killers to fairy tales, sondheim's impact on american musical theater spanned decades and created some of the world's most popular musicals.
>> well, that was stephanie elam reporting there. well, this holiday season is extra special for a missouri man who spent the past four decades behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. >> three, two, one! happy holidays! >> kevin strickland was the kansas city mayor's special guest at this year's christmas tree lighting. his conviction in a 1978 triple homicide was dismissed on tuesday after he served 43 years in prison. a gofundme account has been set up to help the 62-year-old start a new life. more than $1 million has been raised so far. kevin strickland has always maintained his innocence. that wraps this hour of "cnn newsroom." i'm kim brunhuber. cnn's "new day weekend" is next.
what makes salonpas arthritis gel so good for arthritis pain? salonpas contains the most prescribed topical pain relief ingredient. it's s clinically proven, reducs inflammation and comes in original prescription strength. salonpas. it's good medicine. mass general brigham. when you need some of the brightest minds in medicine, this is the only healthcare systemn the country with five nationally ranked hospitals, including two world-renowned acadic medical centers, in boston, where biotech innovates daily and our doctors teach at harrd medical school, and where the physicians doing the world-changing research are the ones providing care. there's only one mass general brigham. ♪ ♪ to all the kisses... ...that led... ...to this one. celebrate every kiss, with kay.
sales are down from last quarter, but we're hoping things will pick up by q3. yeah... uhhh... doug? [children laughing] sorry about that. umm...what...it's uhh... you alright? [ding] never settle with power e*trade. it has powerful, easy-to-use tools to help you find opportunities, 24/7 support when you need answers, plus some of the lowest options in futures contract prices around. get e*trade and start trading today.
the xfinity black friday sales event is happening now on xfinity mobile. now new and existing customers can get our best wireless deal of the year - up to $1,000 in savings - for a limited time only. on the most reliable network nationwide, plus nationwide 5g. act now and save up to $1,000 with xfinity mobile. so you can go all out on gifts for the family - during our best wireless deal of the year... the xfinity black friday sales event. click, call or visit a store today.