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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  December 4, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST

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snakes. apparently using coal as the heat source for the smoke but placed too close to combustible materials eventually setting the house on fire. luckily no one, no person, injured. meanwhile, the status of the snakes, well, still unclear whether they sizzled or slithered. i'm not advocating for either, just -- all right. hello again, everyone. thank you for joining me this saturday. i'm fredricka whitfield. breaking news. the parents of the teenager accused in the michigan school shooting are now in jail. james and jennifer crumbley arraigned in court this morning facing involuntary manslaughter charges. they each pleaded not guilty. cnn was there as the crumbley family, the couple there, was taken into custody following an hours' long manhunt. police tracked them down
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overnight in a detroit warehouse after they failed to turn themselves in on friday. their 15-year-old son ethan was arrested tuesday and faces multiple charges including four first-degree murder counts. four students were killed in the oxford high school shooting's seven others injured. cnn's athena jones is in pontiac, michigan, outside the oakland county sheriff's office. tell us about today's arraignment, athena. >> reporter: hi, fred. well both crumbley, jennifer and james crumbley, arraigned this morning. bond set at $500,000 for each. if able to raise that money and bond out will have to wear gps mont'sers and submit to other restrictions. each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of the four teenagers. their son, eketh crumbley, is charged with killing. because the county prosecutors believes the parents should have known that their son was capable of and had the ability to commit
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a violent act, and that they are criminally negligent. they said that the day before the shooting, both parents were alerted about a teacher having witnessed even crumbley searching for ammunition online. they did not respond. the next day, they were brought in to the school after ethan crumbley made a disturbing drawing. listen to what oakland county prosecutor karen mcdonald had to say about that drawing and the meeting the parents had with ethan and school administrators. listen. >> on november 30, '21, the morning of the shooting, the next day, ethan crumbley's teacher came upon a note on ethan's desk which alarmed her she took a picture of it on they are cell phone it contained the following. a drawing of a semiautomatic hand gunn pointing at the words "the thoughts won't stop. help me."
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following words "blood everywhere." between the drawing of the gun and bull sit a drawing of a person who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding. below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji. further down "my life is useless" and to the right of that "the world is dead." >> >> reporter: there you heard the prosecutor describing a disturbing drawing essentially describe what's he was about to do. the school administration wanted the parents to take eketh home. they refused. he stayed on campus and soon after carried out this shooting of killing four teenagers. that is why these parents are facing charges. >> thank you so much from pontia, michigan. to talk more about all of this joining me u.s. district attorney for middle district and
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we heard a lot of arguments coming from the couple's defense attorneys about why they didn't turn themselves in, but the fact that it took a tip to police to end up finding them inside a warehouse. how much does that hurt their case as they defend themselves against the notion of evading arrest? >> yeah. i'm glad to be with you. thanks for the invitation. i think that it will hurt them in the long run to make it look like they were not cooperative or may have been trying to leave. at the same time, i do think, and this is where the prosecutor has to really walk a fine line and not conflate the public's right to know information with talking about tactical decisions or strategy decisions he or she may make in a case. so here i think wednesday's actually when she announced she was thinking about charging the parents. i'm not surprised that this happened. i think they didn't have them sufficiently under surveillance. think about this.
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the spider never says to the fly, i think i'm going to build a web and maybe catch you. you don't do that. you make that announcement when you have an arrest warrant on hand or somebody tight -- >> i guess that's why it is confusing's if that announcements is going to be made why wasn't there surveillance of the couple? >> i think she mentioned at one point they were following teams on a telephone, cell phones. you don't have to do much but watch an episode or two of "csi" and people know to throw their cell phones out the window or turn them off. i didn't find that to be completely compelling in the surveillance. having said that, it doesn't mitigate what these individuals are charged with. at the crime here. makes me sick every time we're having more of these cases. i'm really troubled by it and hope we'll ask the politicians to decide we ought to put metal detectors in schools things like that. we can build bridges and roads
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but if our kids aren't living long enough to drive on them, what's the point? >> the flip side of the defense attorney's argument that they weren't trying to run, because they had already retained an attorney. and that demonstrates they were going to cooperate with prosecutors. what do you say to that? >> yeah. i'm not really sure there's a defense to being a fugitive of i retained counsel. doesn't really work. they're going to have to face the consequences for that. i don't know if they're being charged right now with being fugitives or not, but obviously, their behavior doesn't look like they're about to turn themselves in. they had an arraignment date the afternoon before. how come you weren't there? claiming they were afraid for their lives. if you were really worried about your security, turn yourself in. you'll be protected. >> thus far at least in the arraignment in that hearing we all heard. we heard four counts of involuntary manslaughter. nothing about a charge about
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evading arrest or anything like that. so, then, michael, you know, when you look at the totality or scope of school shootings in recent years reportedly over, cases of maybe four. four parents who have actually faced charges as a result with connections to their kids who, you know, allegedly carried out the attacks. do you see that with this arrest what's become a very high-profile, highly publicized case, do you see this as a potential turning point in culpability? when the next, you know, incident happens, that these minors -- you know -- that their parents are also being held responsible for any actions that a minor takes? >> it could be. i mean, i think there have been cases where parents should have been charged. i think there are cases where other folks should have been charged who maybe could have intervened, too. this case the facts will tell as we go forward. it's an interesting sort of
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conundrum. on one hand the young man, the shooter is charged as an adult. i think he's 15 years old, if i remember right. so that's basically saying he's facing a punishment, adult, has mentality to commit crimes as an adult and doesn't receive the shield of the juvenile justice system. the other hand telling his parents you should have controlled your minor child. so these are arguments that will play out in court, but, you know, i think that we ought to be pushing laws that hold people responsible. good gun safety laws. you can be pro-gun and pro-gun safety at the same time. so hopefully this type of case will shed light on laws or enhance laws maybe some so policies in other states where these types of provisions can be effective. >> hmm. how do you see it? >> i agree with michael. laws need to be the solution here. criminal prosecutions are not a way to make laws, and this is a case which may be morally very
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strong, but legally, i don't think it's so strong. i mean, if the best evidence the prosecutors have is this text from the mom that said, lol, just don't get caught, because he was looking at ammunition. that's not criminal. part of the investigation, i think, needs to look at the school's culpability. did they question him? dl he have a gun? search his locker which they can do in a school. you have to look at that as well as the parents. it's very divisive. a lot of controversy with hostility directed at school boards, and a big divide in the country over guns. the prosecution, you have to be careful not to let all of that understandable emotion slay you in terms how the case is prosecuted. done on the facts of this case and right now from what little we know, i don't think it's that strong of a case against them. >> hmm. you know, the prosecution argues that this couple is a flight risk. the judge set bond at $500,000. is that adequate?
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>> you know, i personally don't like money bonds as security for people. i think you need to evaluate them on the dangerousness of the people. certainly under existing laws they're a flight risk. they had an appointment to show up and they didn't. they can revisit that later. their attorneys is make a further argument but it's the right call at the moment, i think, given they were on the run and found. >> michael, you want to add to that last word? >> i think it's, again, i mean, you've got parents now who have a child that's charged with murder. that faces life in prison because of evidence. the question at some point, is the judge setting this bond to make a statement? at some point lieutewill it be reduced? hard to believe the judge will keep the parents locked up and there are things you can do. ankle monitoring and all. the cash bond or the surety out there is really made to give the
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incentive for another party to make sure that these folks come back to court when they're summoned back. so i wasn't surprised there was some bond set but my guess if they don't make it, it will be lowered at some point in the future. >> leave it there for now. good to see you both, gentlemen. thanks so much. still ahead, a u.s. intelligence agency estimates that russia is positioning up to 175,000 troops along its border with ukrain and could begin a military offense within a matter of months. what president biden is saying about that possibility. later, as scientists work to understand the new omicron variant, the cdc warns it could become "the" dominant strain in the u.s. this quick programming note. join krcnn's elly reid for a ne documentary. the cnn special report begins tomorrow, 9:00 p.m. toms. so grab nightshift to fight your symptoms,
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welcome back. cnn learned that president biden and russian president vladimir putin are set to speak tuesday amid fears the kremlin is on the verge of invading ukraine. new u.s. intelligence findings estimate that russia could begin a military offensive in ukraine in a matter of months as they amass up to 171,000 troops along the border. president biden is preparing initiatives to make it difficult for putin to carry out military action against ukraine. >> we are aware of russia's actions. been aware for a long time, and my expectation is we're doing to have a long discussion. >> -- on the plane? >> i don't accept anybody the redline. >> for more on this tense standoff we bring in matthew chance in kiev. what more do we know about the upcoming biden/putin call? >> reporter: we know it's been
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in the works for some time, fredricka, and we now know over the course of the past hour it's going to be taking place on december the 7th. so on tuesday. tuesday evening moscow time, is what the kremlin said to me. around now in a couple of days from now. we also know that it's going to be a virtual summit. it's going to essentially be a video call between president biden and putin, vladimir putin of russia, of course. and that they are going to be focused front and center on the pending issue of ukraine and that extremely worrying buildup of russian forces near the border of ukraine in russian territory for the most part, but also in annex territory as well. tens of thousands of troops gathered there at the homoment. the latest u.s. intel just reported could be up to 175,000 russian troop there's put in place for any plan to invade
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ukraine actually set in motion by the russians. that's what they'll be discussing. the russians made clear what they want, which is for the united states to give guarantees that nato, the western military alliance, will not advance any further eastward towards russian borders. it's a red line for them. you heard president biden there saying that, you know, he doesn't abide by anybody's red lines. for national security terms for the russians. and also the ukrainians have been speaking up as well saying, look. we're the country that gets support from nato. we need it in our battle against the russians in the eastern country. russia should not have a voice on our relationship with the western military alliance. >> matthew chance in kiev. thanks so much for that. all right. coming up, at least a dozen states have now identified cases of the new covid variant omicron. how pharmaceutical companies are preparing to potentially update the vaccines, next.
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are you a christian author with a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! and more states confirm cases of the new coronavirus variant omicron. health experts are responding to this emerging threat. dr. anthony fauci says pharmaceutical companies are already making plans in the case of the current vaccines just in case they don't offer enough protection. >> they do have plans that have multiple contingency. one is to rev up the production of the vaccines that they already have. the next is to make, for example, a bivaralant, against the ancestral strain, the new
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variant and the other is to make a variant-specific boost. >> all right. while the concerns over this new variant dominate headlines it's the delta variant that is dominating case counts. nearly every state we saw a steep rise in cases over the last week and the country is back over 1,000 cases a day first time in two months. are they attributing that to people getting together for the holidays? >> absolutely. a record number of pandemic travelers last weekend following thanksgiving and are still in the middle of holiday travel. right? more people expected to travel around the u.s. and the world adding another layer of concern. whether you're talking about this new variant or the delta variant, health experts say that getting the vaccine and the booster shot that is still your best bet to fight against covid-19. >> so there are, like, millions upon millions of tiny little microscopic wells on here.
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>> reporter: about 30,000 covid-19 positive samples tested per day by north carolina mako medical. tracing the spread of the omicron variant. >> every time it transmit from a person to another person it's another chance for the person to mutate and change into something different. >> reporter: last week south africa became the first to announce it had a variant. even now we know the variant was already present in the united states. the day after thanksgiving the biden administration announced travelers from eight countries in southern africa would not be allowed into the u.s. sparking international criticism, but a week later, the administration making this announcement. >> already we have shipped for free with no strings attached 291 million doses to 110 different countries. that's more vaccines donated and shipped by the united states than all other countries in the world combined. >> reporter: a rk welcome move
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the world health organization. >> that is great. i'm sorry it took omicron to make people understand how serious this is, because we have been saying and you've been saying that we need to vaccinate the whole world so that we don't give the virus a chance to turn itself into a more effective version. >> reporter: to make this, they can modify current vaccine formula, but it will take time. >> if the development of vaccine a new vaccine, we will most likely not be able to prevent the first phase of detections with a new vaccine, because it will take about 100 days, yeah, to develop a new and distribute any vaccine or start to distribute any new vaccine. >> reporter: the omicron variant is already here, the full extent of its potential to wreak havoc is still unknown. >> what we do know early data, even mutation data are telling us that this may well be a more
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transmissible variant than delta, and so this is going to take time to sort out. >> reporter: so the biden administration is rolling out new efforts to try to limit this winter surge of covid-19, and one of those begins on monday. a travel policy that requires all international travelers to be tested for covid-19, and have a negative covid test the day before they travel to enter the country, fredricka. no travel restrictions or policies right now for domestic travelers, but you're starting to see more screenings and more covid testing available at different airports across the country. >> lots of adjustments made now and we know more will come, too. absolutely. thank you. good to see you. talk more about all this with dr. tyson belle, assistant professor of medicine at the university of virginia. good to see you again. you just heard nadya about president biden's winter plan for this pandemic. is this enough in your view? uh-oh.
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dr. tyson belle, are you able to hear me? this is fredricka in atlanta. yes, oh, but i can't hear you. i can see you, though. so -- let's see if we can work -- actually give me another audio check. if you can hear me, can you talk to me? okay. we can't hear you. so -- we're going to have to try and redirect this, dr. tyson belle, thanks so much. coming up, a 9-year-old afghan girl sold into marriage by her father. then cnn told her story. we'll tell you how the world responded and where she is now. that's next. and that's why i knew how meaningful this gift would be for my family. this season give the most meaningful gift for just $129
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welcome back. the biden administration announced this week their plan to tackle covid this week. try to bring you back, dr. tyson belle. sorry for the technical problem. assistant professor of medicine at the university of virginia. can you hear me now? i can hear you just fine tlmplts we go. what's your thoughts about the biden winter plan talking negative tests for international travelers a day before arriving into the u.s. and increasing vaccination rates among adults in the u.s. just to name a few? does this go far enough, in your view? >> i think this is a really good step. i think we really need to buff up our travel policies, because we don't want to ban people to countries but keep cases out. budging up testing and having
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testing before and after travel makes a lot of sense. i agree with that policy. we certainly do need to expand rapid testing. one thing i wanted to happen for several months now. a really good ability to decrease spread. if you know you're positive, sooner the better. the issue, we still need to bring the cost down. being able to get a reimbursement through insurance is okay but really need the overall cost down and expand access to boosters and primary vaccination and make sure people are getting protected. >> and post-thanksgiving holiday a lot more people getting together this holiday season and also seeing the u.s. is averaging 100,000 daily cases again. how serious of a concern is this for you as we get into yet another holiday season where we're actually still in the midst of a holiday season? >> i got unwelcome news on my phone during our thanksgiving gathering that there's om cicro
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variant. that may change how we get together for the christmas holiday. we've seen cases really explode in south africa. it's already here. community transmission, and we still need to learn a lot more how it's going to affect our country and the people vaccinated, those unvaccinated. at this point i'm still planning to travel but that could change at any moment. >> according to a uk health security agency report this week more than half the people with confirmed omicron cases in the uk had received at least two doses of a covid vaccine, but no one died and no one was hospitalized. what does that tell you about the efficacy of these vaccines against that new variant? >> well, we should not expect that vaccine protection should be an on or off switch. expect people have vaccine induced immunity especially if boosted should have protection.
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omicron may evade that but it is a good sign that we haven't seen hospitalizations in south africa pick up on people fully vaccinated. it really is important. if there's any reason to get a vaccine dose, now is really the time. >> dr. tyson belle. thanks for hanging with us on that. appreciate it. >> thank you. all right. now to an update on a very disturbing story that triggered an international outcry. last month cnn brought you exclusive reporting about child marriage in afghanistan. many of you were especially disturbed by the case of a 9-year-old parwana, sold into marriage to a 55-year-old man for about $2,000. cnn granted rare permission to document the final sale and hand over. following our story, a nonprofit group intervened and rescued
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par parwana. we have this exclusive report. ♪ >>. >> reporter: an iranian love song plays going through a northwestern valley in northern afghanistan. in the back of his station weigh sn a mother and six children who just left behind a life of constant struggle and hardship. all ave ever known. among them 9-year-old parwana. our cameraman asked how she's feeling. i'm so happy, she says, with a smile. cnn met parwana dressed in pink in an internally displaced camp in a province back in october. her father claims he was selling her to feed the rest of the family. as a humanitarian crisis grips the country. he'd already sold his 12-year-old into marriage, and told cnn that unless his
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situation improved, he would have to sell his four remaining daughters as well including the youngest just 2. if i didn't have these daughters to sell, he asked what should i do? parwana's buyer who lived in a nearby village confirmed he was taking the 9-year-old as his second wife. >> translator: i'm 55 years old. i have a wife with four daughters and a son. i bought her for myself. i will wait until she becomes older. >> reporter: cnn was granted rare access to film the final payment and hand over. the buyer asked for it to take place as a house in his village and not the camp for security reasons. he paid a total of $200,000 afghanies just over $2,000 for
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parwana in land, sheep. as he dragged her away, she whimpers. moments later -- she digs her heels into the dirt refusing to go. but it's hopeless. cnn's story caused an outcry. >> a distressing story of a afghanistan. >> reporter: the network inundated with offers from the public and ngos wanting to assist parwana and the other girls featured in the story. the based charity too young to wed took the lead. its founding executive director stephanie sinclair working to end child marriage and help vulnerable girls around the world almost 20 years and says the perfect storm is brewing in afghanistan, and it's the girls that are suffering. >> i know these stories are difficult to watch and then difficult to do, and bring around a lot of concern, but same time we need to keep people
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understanding that this is happening. we need to keep ringing the alarm bell. understand these are real girls and real lives, and they can be changed. >> reporter: within this province there was widespread backlash towards parwana's father and the buyer with claims they brought shame on the community. even the taliban told cnn the practice is forbidden. >> translator: i request everyone not to sell their children. child marriage is not a good thing and we condemn it. >> reporter: women's right activists and this u.s. citizen who chose to stay in kabul after the taliban texcept over in august stayed. she says this is the tip of the iceberg. >> a life of misery. a lot of mistreatment in respect is a lot of abuse that's involved in these things, and it will keep on happening with hunger, with the winter, with poverty. >> reporter: as a result of the controversy caused by the story and intervention from the charity, parwana was allowed to
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return home after almost two weeks with the buyer's family. pes parwana is rescued, i'm very happy, says parwana's father and admitted to cnn under duress from the community and some local media outlets, he changed his story out of embarrassment for what he had done and apologized. the buyer is unreachable for comment, but the debt is still outstanding. too young to wed organized to have parwana, her mother and siblings removed from the camp with the father's permission. their-four-hour journey to a neighboring province was prbrok up with some childhood fun. before arriving at the motel. the children who have only ever lived in a tent, the novelty of being warm, fed and safe wasn't unnoticed.
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they rescued me. they've given me a new life, says parwana. i thank the charity for helping me. ap few days later they moved into a safe house. parwana's mother, 27-year-old, has never lived in a house. she was sold into marriage at 13 and has since had seven children. six of whom were girls. most days in the camp she would beg for food and often her family would go to sleep hungry. now all she wants is to give her children a better life. >> translator: i have a dream, a wish, they go school and start an education, she says. i have a lot of wishes for them. >> reporter: too to wed began distributing aid to the impoverished camp among others. while the small charity is prepared to bridge the gap, they're calling on the large aid organizations to step up. >> these are communities that have relied on international aid for the last 20 years. and so with a lot of that aid
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stopping, these people didn't stop needing support, and we can't let them pay the price, because ultimately girls always pay the biggest price. >> reporter: i speak to parwana on zoom through my colleague. hello, parwana. i'm anna. >> translator: hoe are you? how are you feeling? >> reporter: very good, thank you. how are you? >> translator: i'm fine. i'm so happy. i'm safe. i rescued. >> reporter: then she asks, when are you sending me to school? she wants to stud toy become a doctor or a teacher. fairy tale endings are few and far between for girls in afghanistan. even more so now than ever. reporting for cnn. >> powerful. all right. still ahead, supply chain issues, inflation, labor shortages. how food banks are fighting to survive the pandemic.
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all right. welcome back. at the height of the pandemic, food banks felt the impact from increased demand, and now are dealing with a new set of challenges. sp supply chain disruptions and inflation making it more expensive for them to purchase and send food worldwide. the president and chief operating officer of feeding america is with us. katie, so good to see you. >> thank you. so good to be on. >> wonderful. so, i know these are tough times. this is a set of problems
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uniquely created by the pandemic, and the usda says 38 million americans face food insecurity right now. so what do the holidays mean for demand on food banks, so that you can reach out and help as many people as you need to? >> yeah. ever since the pandemic began the charitable food system in the public sector has done an extraordinary job responding to food insecurity, but this is really another perfect storm that we're seeing here with the elevated food prices and the ongoing challenges in the supply chain. it's really making it a situation where people are struggling to put food on the table, at the same time, as you mention, food banks are really struggling and hit hard by this need. >> as big as your organization is, are you worried that you're not going to be able to meet the need of everyone in the way in which you're accustomed to doing? >> we're not worried we're not going to be able to meet the
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needs, but food banks are having to go to great lengths to problem-solve around the challenges we're seeing. some of the challenges we're seeing in the supply chain and with the elevated food prices include a decline in donated food. where some of the food that normally comes to us is moving to the secondary market, because it's more profitable for it to be there. we're also just, as you mentioned, seeing immense pressure on the cost of doing business. so food banks, a lot of folks don't realize, have to pay to move, even donated food across the country. so our transportation costs are up about 20%. labor costs are up. then the only way we were able to get through the pandemic thus far is through purchasing food. we purchased about 60% more food last year and so what food banks are doing, substituting items. in some cases having to diminish some portion sizes just to make sure they can meet all the need. >> hmm. so you know, when you say that -- you know, food prices
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rise, and so does food insecurity. are boost in federal benefits such as food stamps and child care credit in any way helpful? >> oh, immensely helpful, and the good news is that hunger in america is a solvable problem, but it does require a public and private response. so what we know from recent research reported is that the stimulus checks and the child tax credit and the summer program that the usda put in place in partnership with many of our food banks actually decreased hunger in the united states so far, and we need to keep those supports in place, combined with our private sector response. so we are currently asking congress to take action for constituents across this country impacted in every county to continue to extend the child tax credit. those payments. those last payments, they're
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coming this month, and to also invest additional dollars in the emergency food assistance program. right now the commodities that the feeding america network gets through the usda is down about 30%, the commodity food, and we need that food. it is the backbone of our response to continue and to increase. >> you also need donations in other ways in a very big way. so how has your organization, feed america, intensified or changed your donation campaign, such as, know, television ads, to try to get people, if they can, to be even more generous this year? >> you know, we want to use all the dollars that folks give to us to feed people. so we tend to not buy advertising. we really depend on generous folks, and the ad council and elsewhere to help us get the message out and folks like you, fredricka. so thank you for this kind of
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attention, but, yes. funds help immensely right now and people can go to to make a donation to their local food bank. again the only way we've been able to get through these elevated levels of demand is through purchasing food and through the u.s. commodity food combined with the donated food we are able to receive. >> hmm. we're glad to be able to help get the word out, because clearly the need is great and getting greater every day. katie fitzgerald, thank you so much and thanks for all you're doing on behalf of so many who have been leaning on you. >> thank you so much. all right. the top ten cnn heroes of 2021 have been announced, and one of whom will be named "the" cnn hero of the year by you. so in the last week of voting, let us re-introduce another of our incredible top ten. when the covid-19 pandemic struck the island of bali, tourism, driving economic force and region practically came to a halt and thousands left out of
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work and at risk of going hungry. this top ten cnn hero implemented a simple plan. empower people to trade in collective plastic waste for rice. >> i kept going with this mission, because people empowered. because people get excited. because of the community that resp responds into this initiative. i see the smile on their face. i see the cleaner environment, and also i see they can provide for their family. this initiative is so simple, and we can do this in every community. we clean the environments, we feed the people and they're proud doing this. my goal is to really spread this movement. i want to inspire people that everything is possible.
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there is no small dream. if you believe, and you do it with the community, and you will succeed. >> wow. it's clear he's getting a lot of people engaged. the program, plastic exchange, spread to more than 200 villages and collected nearly 300 tons of plastic for recycling. go to right now to vote for him for cnn hero of the year. or any of your favorite top ten heroes. and we'll be right back. at fidelity, your dedicated advisor will work with you on a comprehensive wealth plan across your full financial picture. a plan with tax-smart investing strategies designed to help you keep more of what you earn. this is the planning effect. i just became eligible for medicare, and i'm already
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hello again everyone. thank you so much for joining me me saturday. i'm fredricka whitfield. we start this hour with breaking news. parent of the accused michigan school shooter appearing in court first time after being arrested late last night after a statewide manhunt. james and jennifer crumbley arraigned this morning now facing four charges each of involuntary manslaughter. >> i understand you're charged with count f


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