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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  December 5, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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hello, everyone. i'm paula newton. ahead on "cnn newsroom," coming to america. well, brand-new testing requirements will meet you at the gate before takeoff. it's an effort to curb the omicron variant. reliving a nightmare. a father who lost his daughter in the parkland massacre talks about the michigan shooting and where he sees hope for compromise when it comes to gun legislation. plus ash as high as roof tops. the remnants of a deadly volcano
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eruption in indonesia. new covid testing requirements are now in effect for all travelers coming to the united states, and it's part of the effort to curb the spread of the omicron variant which has already been found in at least 16 u.s. states. now, anyone boarding a flight to the united states must have proof of a negative covid test one day or 24 hours before takeoff. plus foreign nationals must also be fully vaccinated to enter the country. but that requirement -- this is key -- is not yet in place for u.s. citizens. cnn's nadia romeo has the details. >> reporter: holiday travel plus the omicron variant continues to cause concern about the spread of covid-19.
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now, in late november, scientists in south africa were the first to identify the omicron variant. where and when it first emerged is still unclear, but cases are now reported in dozens of countries including in europe and right here in the u.s. coronavirus cases in south africa nearly quadrupled over four days in the past week. but south africa's president said this weekend that the omicron variant is more transmissible. hospitalizations are not increasing at an alarming rate. so the monday after thanksgiving, the biden administration barred travelers from south africa and other countries in southern africa from entering the u.s. that decision and global travel restrictions have sparked international criticism with one u.n. official calling the ban a travel apartheid. here's dr. anthony fauci's response when asked about the u.s. ban. >> that ban was done at a time when we were really in the dark. we had no idea what was going on except that there seemed to have been an explosion of cases of omicron in south africa. so when the ban was put on, it
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was put to give us time to figure out just what is going on. now, as you mentioned, as we're getting more and more information about cases in our own country and worldwide, we're looking at that very carefully on a daily basis. hopefully we'll be able to lift that ban within a quite reasonable period of time. i mean we all feel very badly about the hardship that that might have put upon not only south africa but the other african countries. and for that reason in real-time, literally on a daily basis, we're re-evaluating that policy. >> reporter: the newest biden administration travel policy starts monday. all international travelers to the u.s. need to have a negative covid-19 test the day before they fly. since last month, international travelers to the u.s. must also be vaccinated. right now there are no such requirements for domestic travelers. nadia romero, cnn, atlanta. >> dr. scott moscow vich is national consultant for covid-19
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testing, and he joins me now from hawaii. good to see you, doctor. as we are here on the cusp of new extended travel bans, testing here in the united states, that testing regime as we were just talking about for all incoming travelers now, this tightening, negative test requirements, how much do you think these measures will actually help in stopping the spread of the variant? >> not all that much, paula. i would say i would compare this to the uk measures that they're putting in, which i think are exemplary, you know, where basically they're requiring the same test the day before, but then they're requiring you to stay in your hotel or your home where you're going until you have a test on day three, and then possibly even on day five depending on your vaccination status. if you're unvaccinated, you may have to stay in quarantine for an entire ten days. so for the united states to only request one day, what happens if you caught the disease two days
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before, three days before? you may not be positive yet, and yet another day or two later, you may be just fully shedding and spreading it. so many studies have shown that one-day testing is not enough to stop a traveler from, you know, catching them with their covid. >> so you think things have to be more strict. you have test upon arrival, and then until that comes back negative, you think people should be isolating at least? >> absolutely. i think the uk policy is very solid. i think a test at day three minimum is what the united states should be asking for. and depending on where people are coming from or depending on a few vaccination status, even another test on day five. once you hit day five, you're going to get into the mid to high 90% that no one has covid that will materialize after those tests. that's what we're looking for. a test at day one, that's not going to tell you much. you're going to be maybe 30%. >> that's interesting because i know how closely you've been
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following the data on this for the better part of two years. there's a lot of hopeful speculation about this new variant and the fact that possibly it could lead to milder illness. now, what evidence is there of that so far, and is it possible in some way, shape, or form that it is starting to share some characteristics with the common cold, which as we all know is usually mild? >> excellent, paula. that's exactly what some of the early data is showing us out of south africa. what we're seeing in the data that maybe dr. fauci was referring to is if we took hospitalizations up through the 4th of the two main hospitals in south africa, we found that 70% of those admitted were not on oxygen, which is very unusual. and that means only 30% were, and none were in the intensive care unit. but if you look at the age, those were mostly under 50. so i do believe we all will --
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i'll caveat this it's a little early to tell. but with the data we have out of south africa, it's okay so far. the other thing we look at with those 15 mutations that we're finding, there is a snippet that is almost identical to a common cold coronavirus, and we're thinking it's possible that there could have been what's called a co-infection where someone had this cold and they had covid, and they basically were breeding in the same cell, creating a variant. with that being said, it could make it more closely related to a bad cold versus the full delta. way too early, though. that's the early information. >> for those of us who just can't do a deep dive on the science, what you're saying, though, is if it does end up having this in common with the cold, we call it the common cold for a reason. a lot of us get it, but it is incredibly mild. is this the way that perhaps covid might develop in this way? >> yeah. i mean i do believe that if you
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look at all of us who have spent our lives studying this and look at virology, we do believe that as covid goes, it will start migrating more to something that our immune system can deal with. and i don't want to call it the common cold, but i would say more in a flu or a bad flu range. but let's not confuse it. this is not the flu. people are dying of it. you need vaccinated. but, yes, we think that when we hit about two years from now, we may be dealing with this, you know, and you go so what? >> you made my year already just with that explanation right there. before i let you go, i want to get to something. we heard from a co-founder of moderna. what i thought was so interesting about what he said was two things. one is he's saying that even if this is milder illness, reinfection will still be a big problem with this variant. the other thing he said is that all of us should maybe start acting differently in the next few weeks. whether you're in europe or the united states, cases are going up, and that we do need to mask
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up again and watch what we're doing at large events. >> boy, paula, i've been saying this in all my lectures and all my talks. let's bring up another point that's so important. if you look right now in the united states, what a week. 12% fully vaccinated because you need three shots before you are fully vaccinated. across the world we're finding that when you only have two shots or one of j&j, you're not fully vaccinated. so that is one of the big issues. and as you see across europe, we are definitely having issues. so we need to basically continue with our masking. >> yeah. it's not something people want to hear this close to the holidays, but we do hear you, doctor, and we appreciate you weighing in. a lot of good information there. dr. scott miscovich for us, thank you. >> thank you, paula. so as he mentioned, there are these rising case numbers in europe as well. governments there have imposed
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new restrictions to try and fight the surge, but a backlash is setting in. there were protests sunday right across the continent. cnn's salma abdelaziz has more now. >> reporter: police fire water cannons at protesters in brussels. demonstrators took to the streets after officials announced a mask mandate for children over 6 and recommended limiting in-person gatherings. police say clashes ended with multiple arrests and injuries. in vienna, thousands of people marched protesting a national lockdown and vaccine mandate to be imposed in february. >> i'm here because i'm against forced vaccination. i'm for human rights, and the violation of human rights should be stopped. >> reporter: it's the latest show of discontent as restrictions to help slow the spread of covid-19 are rolled out once more.
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countries are fighting to control yet another surge in coronavirus infections while the omicron variant continues to spread. across the world, new travel bans and restrictions have been imposed. the u.s. is tightening restrictions for air travel on monday, requiring all inbound international travelers to test negative for covid-19 within a day of departing. and as a wave of covid cases sweeps through europe, eu leadership has raised the possibility of mandatory vaccinations. >> i think it is understandable and appropriate to lead this discussion now how we can encourage and potentially think about mandatory vaccination within the european union. this needs discussion. this needs a common approach, but it is a discussion that i think has to be led. >> reporter: some countries have stepped up testing and vaccination efforts as well as
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booster shot supplies. hundreds lined up to be tested in south korea after a record high for a single day was reported on saturday. global health officials have encouraged all leaders to act fast to fight both the omicron and delta variants. >> our message to governments is don't wait to act. everything that we need to do for delta will benefit omicron no matter how this variant unfolds. it's not just the emergence of a new variant of concern like omicron. the big question is whether or not omicron will outcompete delta. >> reporter: the w.h.o. designated omicron a variant of concern less than ten days ago, but already more than 40 countries and territories have reported cases of the new variant. while most cases have been mild, scientists are still gathering data to determine whether omicron is more transmissible, causes more severe illness, and impacts vaccine efficacy. salma abdelaziz, cnn, london. sources close to the biden
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administration say a diplomatic boycott of the beijing games, the olympic games, is expected to be announced sometime this week. now, that means no u.s. government officials would attend the games, silently protesting china's human rights abuses without -- this is key -- impacting u.s. athletes who wish to compete. cnn's kristie lu stout joins us from hong kong with the latest. i know you're closely tracking the reaction from china. what's interesting here is that it is bound to anger them, but it doesn't normally change anything in terms of behavior, right? >> reporter: um, no. and we'll expect to hear formally from the ministry of foreign affairs later today if a change in tone will actually result in any sort of action from chinese officials. we have faxed a statement requesting for a statement from the ministry of foreign affairs. we have yet to receive a response. we're hoping to get that during the daily briefing in the afternoon. so far we've been monditoring
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chinese social media. we've noticed that the words "u.s. olympic boycott" are being actively blocked and censored inside china, this after several sources are telling cnn that the biden administration will this week announce a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming beijing olympic games. this is not a full boycott, but a boycott that would involve u.s. officials who would not attend the opening ceremonies of the games due to kick off two months from now. this was widely expected because for months now, we have heard from u.s. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle demanding a diplomatic boycott over human rights abuses in china, namely the charge that china is committing genocide against uighurs and other ethnic minorities in the western shin shang region, an allegation that china denies. secretary of state antony blinken just last month was talking about the issue of olympic participation with a number of other countries and that other world leaders, including the british prime
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minister, have been actively weighing and considering a diplomatic boycott. china has repeatedly condemned any notion of a diplomatic boycott, calling it malicious hype, calling it the p politi politicization. this is from a spokesman. he says the u.s. and a handful of countries make an issue out of the beijing winter olympic games and link their officials' attendance with so-called human rights issues. this is a in essence a smearing campaign in the name of defending human rights. a lot is at stake. national pride is at stake. also this cherished opportunity for china to showcase its soft power on the world stage. back to you. >> appreciate that update. as you said, we are expecting more reaction in china in the comes hours. appreciate it. now, some breaking news just coming in to us here at cnn.
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a court in myanmar has reached a verdict in the case against former de facto leader aung san suu kyi. she had faced nearly a dozen charges including incitement and violation of covid-19 protocols. cnn's paula hancocks joins us on this story. paula, what can you tell us? certainly this court case has been going on for several months. as we indicated, she was facing several counts, different counts on varying degrees, including the fact of whether or not she was in possession of banned walkie-talkies. >> reporter: yes, paula. there are a plethora of different charges against aung san suu kyi. at this point what we're hearing today is that sources tell us she has been sentenced to four years in prison for just two of these charges leveled against her. the charges are incitement, which she has been sentenced two years for, and also breaking covid-19 rules, which she was also sentenced to two years
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alongside the deposed president, win myint. at this point, we understand that in this court in the capital, these are just the first verdicts that have come down, and there are many more charges which have been leveled against the former de facto leader, who was forced from power when there was a military coup back on february 1st in myanmar. now, there has been a lot of violence. it has been a brutal military coup. since that time, it's about ten months since that happened, well over 1,200 people have lost their lives according to many who are trying to keep a tally of this, although they admit themselves that the actual number is likely far higher. and this is a court case which will be closely watched inside the country if they are able to access this kind of information. that's doubtful, but certainly internationally to see how the military junta is going to deal
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with these cases. now, aung san suu kyi and those on trial alongside her have all denied the charges against her. she still faces as well more serious charges. for example, corruption charges, breach of the official secrets act. that carries a maximum of 14 years. the corruption charge, a maximum of 15 years. so what we are seeing here is potentially many decades for the former leader behind bars. they are trying to make sure she is not seen in public, that she cannot re-enter life as they try and consolidate their rule. now, back in november of last year, the democratically elected government headed by aung san suu kyi won a landslide, and it was widely considered to be a free and fair election. not so by the military junta, though, who then took control on february 1st. they have claimed that they would carry out elections within
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a year or two, but clearly at this point no one believes that they would be free and fair. paula. >> to be clear, no amount of international pressure from the u.n. or other countries so far has seemed to have made any difference in this case. paula hancocks, appreciate you coming to us with that breaking news. still to come here on "cnn newsroom," new details released by the michigan school system where a tragic shooting happened last week. the warning signs staff witnessed and the call for an independent investigation. plus i'll speak with a parent whose daughter was killed in the parkland shooting. his reaction to what happened in michigan and what he and others are doing to try and make schools safer.
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the group hopes to be dancing again by spring. now, new developments in the michigan school shooting that left four students dead last week. the main authorities believe may have helped ethan crumbley's parents hide from police has now identified himself. the 65-year-old contacted police saying he claims he has no idea that james and jennifer crumbley had active warrants for their arrest until after they were taken into custody. so far, he hasn't been charged with any crimes. now, the superintendent of oxford community schools has released key details of the days leading up to tuesday's shooting. now he's calling for an independent third-party investigation. on sunday, a u.s. senator representing connecticut, site of, of course, the sandy hook elementary school tragedy in 2012, spoke with cnn about what he feels needs to happen to really try and stem gun violence in the united states. >> i wish my republican
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colleagues didn't sort of have epiphanies on this issue only after mass school shootings, but that tends to be what happens. and so my hope is that in the next couple of weeks, we can get back to the table and see if we can, at the very least, maybe close the gun show loophole. that alone would save a lot of lives. >> tony monday tall doe's 14-year-old daughter gina was killed in the parkland shooting back in 2018. he is also the president of the stand with parkland group, and he joins me now. i have to give my condolences right off the bat because i can't imagine how retraumatizing it is every time you see this. what was your reaction when you saw what unfolded in michigan? >> well, it's certainly saddening to see another school shooting. we mourn for the victims. we pray for the quick recovery
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of the wounded, and sadly we know the pain of the victims' families. the hole in your heart that forms and the feeling that you just can't breathe. and we're frustrated, frustrated that we haven't seen enough action to help prevent school shootings. >> and let's talk about that inaction because you guys have been saying for years now, save the thoughts and prayers, okay? let's try and get something done. and you draw a direct line from the four victims at that school dying to what has not been done, that they died because there has been inaction. do you see a consensus going forward, some kind of bipartisan consensus? where is the momentum for some of the proposals that your group has put forward? >> well, stand with parkland,
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the national association of families for safe schools looks at school safety in a little bit more of a uniquely nonpartisan way. we're uniquely inclusive, and we look at school safety having a three-pronged approach. securing the campus, better mental health screening and support programs, and finally, if you choose to own one, responsible firearms ownership. we were just up in washington, d.c. the week before thanksgiving advocating for some of the bills which we see that have bipartisan support. and among those are the eagles act, which is a bill that will increase funding and allow the u.s. secret service national threat assessment center to go out and do more training in the field for school districts that want it, to allow them to
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perform behavioral threat assessments properly. we also support a bill to get an increase in mental health counselors in the schools. we know that children are under stress after covid. the secret service studies show that most mass school attacks occur after a break in attendance. and as we know, many students saw a break in attendance with covid, and also some of them weren't involved in the most loving and caring environment they could be. so we need everybody to come together and work on that in the school to get kids help before they resort to violence. >> since the tragedy in your own family at the school, what have you learned in terms of what do you think is going to get this country there, to actually enact some of this incredibly reasonable and logical legislation that you just pointed to? >> we need to have the desire to
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work together. too often -- and i'll blame the media a little bit on this. too often the people on the far left get the attention, or the people on the far right get the attention. they're screaming at each other over those of us in the middle. so one thing that stand with parkland, the national association of families for safe schools is in place for is to start to build a bridge, to start to be the voice of those of us in the middle. those of us who can see both sides of the argument, who can take the time to listen to one another and work together to find pragmatic solutions to either policy or law that will help keep our students and our staff safe in school. my beautiful daughter gina was taken from me in what was probably the most preventable school shooting in american history. over 40 visits by the police to the shooter's home. the school district was aware of the danger this shooter posed. the fbi had tips regarding him,
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and nobody could put the pieces together to stop this. and sadly we see some parallels here with the recent shooting in oxford township. we see the school doing a good job of initially identifying the student, bringing in the parents. but what they failed to do is bring in their behavioral assessment team. their behavioral threat assessment team would have consisted of school personnel, mental health professionals, and law enforcement. and the reason you want that multi-disciplinary approach is because each of those folks bring something special to the table. perhaps a mental health professional would have looked at some of those drawings and said, we need to get this child help immediately. perhaps law enforcement at the school would have looked at some of these warning signs and said, you know what? we need to search your backpack before we send you back to class. but, again, that's why these multi-disciplinary teams are so important, and this is borne out
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in the research by the national threat assessment center. >> you know, a lot of thoughtful proposals there and a lot of work, courageous work that i know you and everyone that is an advocate for school safety has put forward. thank you so much for outlining some of it. and, again, our condolences on what must be a very difficult time of the year for you and your family. appreciate it. >> we do miss our gina every day. but thank you very much for having me on and for helping us spread the word on these proposals that can just bring people together once we decide to keep our children and students safe in school. it's the winter jewelry sale. get 25% off everything. ♪ ♪ this is how we shine... at zales. the didiamond store. with directv stream i can n get live tv and on demand anywhere.
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you are watching "cnn newsroom." i'm paula newton. the white house says president joe biden is looking forward to talking to his russian counterpart when the two leaders hold a video call on tuesday. now, they're expected to discuss a wide range of topics, and that of course includes ukraine. the white house said mr. biden will underscore u.s. concerns over russia's military activities on the border with ukraine. cnn's joe johns has more now from washington. >> reporter: plenty on president biden's agenda this week. probably the number one item is that secure video call with russian president vladimir putin. the number one issue on that call likely to be the thousands of russian troops massing on the ukraine border. american authorities say they have a lot of information about it. they even released an
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intelligence report with a number of fatherpictures of the locations where the troops are massing. what they don't know is what it all means, whether putin is attempting to set up a distraction or whether he, in fact, is seeking an invasion of ukraine sometime next year. administration officials have said that if putin tries it, there could be a whole round of financial sanctions to make putin pay. joe johns, cnn, the white house. bob dole, a decorated war hero and former u.s. senator republican, has died at the age of 98. now, tributes have been pouring in from all over the world, including one from president joe biden, who calls dole, quote, an american statesman like few in our history. the president has ordered the flags now at the white house and other public buildings flown at half-staff in honor of the late senator. dole is survived by his wife, former north carolina senator
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elizabeth dole, and a daughter, robin. cnn's gloria borger takes a look at his life and legacy. ♪ >> reporter: bob dole was one of the oldest people at the 2016 republican convention at the age of 92. [ cheers and applause ] but he still remembered exactly how he felt two decades earlier when he was losing to bill clinton. >> get up in the morning, and you charge out there, and you work all day. and if you don't have that attitude, you know, you'd go out there and make a halfhearted speech, and people would know, this guy's a loser. >> reporter: this guy was anything but a loser. consider the accomplishments. eight years in the house. 27 in the senate.
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he was senate majority leader twice. bob dole was an american hero. during world war ii, he was hit by machine gun fire. he spent years recuperating and lost the use of one arm. just one of the many reasons why he was the driving force behind the construction of the world war ii memorial in washington. every saturday, health permitting, dole would be there to greet his fellow vets. >> how are you doing? all right? >> i feel good. >> i got a bad knee. >> join the club. >> reporter: he never forgot losing the presidency, but there were moments when those memories receded. >> when you're doing something like that, you don't think about '96, '88, or any other year.
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>> we were in italy together. >> i'll be darned. >> we thank gloria borger for that nice tribute. perhaps one of the most celebrated friendships in bob dole's life was the late democratic senator daniel inouye. although they came from different parties, they formed a deep friendship bonded by their service in the army during world war ii. both men were severely wounded, in fact, during combat and were hospitalized alongside each other as they recovered. dole once said recovering from combat wounds can be a long, painful, and emotionally challenging process. now, the two friends helped support each other during what were, of course, very difficult times in their life. coming up here on "cnn newsroom," more than a dozen people are dead after saturday's volcano eruption in indonesia. we'll have a live report on the rescue efforts and the dangers that remain. plus pope francis returns to lesbos, greece, to meet with refugees and deliver some harsh
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emergency planning for kids. we can't predict when an emergency will happen. so that's why it's important to make a plan with your parents. here are a few tips to stay safe. know how to get in touch with your family. write down phone numbers for your parents, siblings and neighbors. pick a place to meet your family if you are not together and can't go home. remind your parents to pack an emergency supply kit. making a plan might feel like homework, but it will help you and your family stay safe during an emergency.
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so the situation in indonesia's east java province remains quite dangerous after saturday's deadly volcano eruption. at least 15 people were killed and about 1,700 now are displaced after the sudden eruption destroyed hundreds of homes, damaged many schools, and left villages covered in ash. 27 people are still missing at this hour. the hot ash, volcanic gases and smoldering debris are still a threat to those living nearby. for more on this, i'm joined by will ripley, who's been following all the developments from hong kong. will, as if they needed more problems in terms of trying to rescue those that still need their help, the weather now seems to be a problem as well. >> reporter: they've been
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dealing with heavy wind, heavy rain, and when you have all of that volcanic ash that has rained down on these villages, at least 11 villages, many of them buried under ash that sometimes is as high as the actual houses that are so severely damaged. then you combine the rain with that, when it dries, it's like mixing concrete. so you have homes and buildings that are essentially and potentially bodies as well that may be very difficult to recover. some of these villages are considered a total loss. villagers who are displaced are going to have to be in limbo for at least six months, getting government assistance before they can be moved into more permanent housing. but they've had to set up these evacuation centers in mosques, schools, assembly halls, in some cases in people's homes in other surrounding villages and they're calling in for more help because the conditions are dire. not just the weather, but also these pyroclastic flows, which is this mix of ash and rock and volcanic gases that actually appear as if they're floodwaters
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until they're right up on these people, and they realize how incredibly hot, scalding hot. there are dozens of people who have severe burns. other people who have been killed when they were swept away by this nightmarish nscenario. it's not over. they had two more of these pyroclastic flow events, once in the early morning hours and later in the morning just today. so the situation is definitely volatile as it always is when you talk about a volcano erupting. indonesia certainly has a lot of experience dealing with volcanic eruptions due to its location on the ring of fire. so they are mobilizing help. hospitals are able to deal with the number of victims. so far they're not overrun. part of this is because mount semeru is in java, which is also home to the indonesian capital, jakarta. so it's the most densely populated area. even though this volcanic
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eruption itself, this 12,000 foot mountain is in a remote area, they're able to mobilize in resources quickly. but there's infrastructure damage as a result of all of the things we've outlined. there was also a dam break reported a number of hours ago. that caused flooding and made it difficult for rescuers to get to some of these affected areas. >> tragically as you pointed out, the death toll continues to climb. i've just been riveted by the pictures. it's so tragic what they're going through now. i appreciate the update. pope francis is highlighting the plight of migrants on his trip to cyprus and greek. he visited a refugee camp on the island of lesbos where he delivered harsh words to countries that closed their borders to migrants. delia gallagher has more. >> reporter: with smiles and blessings, pope francis greets crowds of refugees on the island of lesbos. the handshakes and hugs a reminder that they are not forgotten. it's the pope's second trip to the island. greece is one of the main entry
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points for many migrants from the middle east and africa who are trying to escape violence and poverty. hundreds of thousands of people arrived on lesbos' beaches in 2015. the number of people here has dropped from about 20,000 last year to under 5,000 today. the pope continues to call out those countries in europe and elsewhere who think this is not their problem. speaking in front of a backdrop of containers that refugees call home, the pope called the crisis a shipwreck of civilization and had especially stern words for politicians using the plight of the migrants for political purposes. >> translator: it is sad to hear that as a solution, proposals that common funds should be used to build walls, to build barbed wire. we are in the era of the walls. >> reporter: the pope oh comments come as countries like poland call for the eu to help finance a border wall to stop migrants from the middle east from traveling into poland from
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belarus. a political battle playing out across europe that pope francis says ignores the daily struggles of people in camps like this. one asylum seeker waiting for a glimpse of the pope says it's like being stuck in limbo. >> translator: we are neglected. we have no documents. i gave birth to my baby here. i have a baby who was born here, but he has no papers. >> reporter: what future do we want to give to our children, the pope asked? his hope and that of many in this camp is that it will be one of welcome. delia gallagher, cnn, lesbos. you're watching cnn. we will be right back with more news in a moment. those who tried me felt more energy in just two weeks! (sighs wearily) here i'll take that! (excited yell) woo-hoo! ensure max protein. with thirty grams of protein, one gram of sugar, and nutrients to support immune health. ♪ ♪
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it's the winter jewelry sale. get 25% off everything. ♪ ♪ this is how we shine... at zales. the diamond store. water around the maldives are home to giants. the rays are the largest fish, in fact. relatively little is known about them. anna stewart on how one team is trying to change that.
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>> reporter: the maldives is an island nation. over a thousand fish species in habit this patch of the indian ocean occasionally in significant numbers. >> here in the maldives we have the largest number of races recorded in the world. they have 5,100 individuals in the database. >> reporter: beth leads a team of researchers at the conservation charity. six days a week for over half a year, this group heads out to a unesco protected bay in hopes of finding mantas to study. surprisingly this weather is the weather they want. >> the rainy season, you get plankton trapped in the closed end of the bay and the mantas will come to feed on the plankton that's trapped there. it depends on the currents and the winds, so we need them to be perfect.
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>> i don't see any mantas. >> i see them in the shallows. >> they are in the shallows. you can see them on the surface already, so they're already feeding which is great for us. >> reporter: as soon as the team spots their subjects, it's time for a closer look. >> manta rays are really majestic creatures. they're known as gentle giants. they have no teeth, no sting, nothing to hurt humans. >> reporter: these reef manta rays which feed on particle plankton reach 40 meters in width and weigh up to 700 kilos. today they are considered a vulnerable species mainly due to habitat degradation. >> i've been working with mantas since 2017, and you get to spend a lot of time with the same
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mantas. i definitely believe that they all have different personalities. this is something that hopefully peop people will look into in the future. >> reporter: for now beth's team collects data on their population size, behavioral habits and reproduction. >> manta rays have been studied just over a decade. in scientific terms it's not that long. there are still so many questions we don't know the answers to. and you can't persuade people to protect something that they don't know that much about. >> reporter: so far, the team's work has helped lead to legal habitat protection for mantas and their inclusion on the protection species list. >> if we don't take steps to protect them now, they won't be here much longer for other generations to see and the encounters that i have, i would love as many people to have those as possible.
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and finally this hour, we have a baseball player, coach, executive and now finally a hall of famer. after nearly an eight-decade career, john jordan buck o'neil was headed to cooperstown. he was a stand out player in the negro league before the sport was desegregated and he had a hand in that, too. he went on to become a scout for the chicago cubs, became the first american coach in major league baseball. in 2006 he spoke at the hall of fame induction of 17 legends of the negro league. he passed away less than three months later at the age of 94. and a good addition there to cooperstown. and thanks for watching "cnn newsroom." i'm paula newton. i will be back for another hour of news from around the world. back right after a break.
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hello and welcome to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm paula newton. ahead here on "cnn newsroom," new travel restrictions underway across the u.s. and the uk in an effort to combat the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. we are live from london's gatwick airport. plus the united states will announce a diplomatic boycott of the beijing games. we are live with details and reaction fro

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