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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  December 15, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PST

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welcome to our viewers joining us in the united states and right around the world. i'm isa soares in london. and just ahead right here on "cnn newsroom." >> lawmakers reviewing additional text message to meadows. >> members who pleaded with the chief of staff to get the president to take action. >> it's our day of reckoning that mark meadows richly deserves. >> you're making excuses as part of a cover up. >> a significant moment in the january 6 investigation. lawmakers vote in favor of
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pursuing criminal contempt charges against donald trump's former chief of staff, mark meadows. health officials warn of an omicron variant take over that could bring another punishing covid surge right across the united states, and we are following breaking news out of hong kong this hour. dozens of people are trapped on the roof of a high-rise after a fire broke out. >> announcer: live from london, this is "cnn newsroom" with isa soares. welcome, everyone. it is wednesday, december 15th, and we begin on capitol hill where just hours ago the house voted to hold mark meadows in contempt of congress. meadows is refusing to comply with the subpoena issued by january 6 committee investigating the capitol riots. the vote fell mostly along party lines with only two republicans voting with the democrats.
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the justice department will now decide whether to pursue criminal charges against meadows. republicans say the committee is going after meadows to advance their political agenda against donald trump, but republican liz cheney disagrees. have a listen. >> all of these texts are non-privileged. they are texts that mr. meadows has turned over, and they are evidence of president trump's supreme dereliction of duty for 187 minutes, and mr. meadows' testimony will bear on another fundamental question before this committee. and that is whether donald j. trump, through action or inaction, corruptly sought to obstruct or impede congress's official proceeding to count electoral votes. >> and remember meadows is the second trump official to face such a referral from the panel. cnn's ryan nobles has all the details for you.
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>> reporter: it is official the house of representatives has now voted out a referral of criminal contempt of congress of former white house chief of staff mark meadows. of course, meadows not only a former white house chief of staff. he's also a former member of the united states house of representatives, so this is a pretty unprecedented move by this body. now, this will now be in the hands of the department of justice which will decide whether or not to prosecute this case. the vote came largely along party lines, 222 votes to move it forward, 208 votes against. only two republicans this time around voting in the affirmative, and that is liz cheney of wyoming, adam kinzinger of illinois, both members of the january 6 select committee. that number has dropped significantly since the last time there was a criminal contempt referral question from the select committee in front of the congress where a number of republicans did vote for the referral of steve bannon. now, the question is just where does this put the committee in
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terms of gleaning any information from mark meadows? it seems unlikely now that they are going to be able to get what they are looking for. meadows at one point appeared to be willing to cooperate with the committee. he evenhanded over 6,000 documents that amounted to some 9,000 pages worth of information. and over the past couple of days the committee has been releasing dribs and drabs of that content, text messages that meadows received, some from members of congress, some from members of the press, from white house officials that were leading up to and around the events of january 6. they say it shows that meadows has intimate and detailed information about the decisions that were made not only on january 6, but in the time leading up to it, and in particular, the efforts by the trump administration to peddle false claims about the november election. so, this is now in the hands of the department of justice. it took them several weeks to decide whether or not to move
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ahead with the propesecution an indictment of steve bannon. this is a complicated situation. meadows, like bannon, was working in the executive branch time. the committee still believes they have a strong case because bannon handed over documents they wanted to ask questions about. he wrote a book about conversations with the president. they believe they are on firm ground. they have vowed they will use every tool they have available to them to get to the bottom of what happened on january 6. ryan nobles, cnn on capitol hill. well, as ryan reported there, the january 6 committee is revealing more of the text messages mark meadows handed over before stonewalling. one text reveals a conversation to overthrow the presidential election results. here's house democrat jamie raskin with this evidence. >> on november 4th, a member of this body wrote to meadows,
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here's an aggressive strategy. one day after the election, why can't the states of georgia, north carolina, pennsylvania and other republican-controlled statehouses declare this is b.s. where conflicts in election not called that night, and just send their own electors to vote and have it go to the scotus. >> plead also to ask him about text messages which he provided to our committee that show an official in georgia texting mr. meadows during the trump/raffensperger call saying they need to, quote, end this call, and emphasizing, quote, i don't think this will be a productive -- will be productive much longer, end quote. we need to talk to mr. meadows about that. >> well, she's referring there, of course, to a phone call in 2020 when then president donald trump pressed georgia secretary of state to find the votes
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needed to overturn results showing joe biden had won the state. well, that call and the texts tied to it have emerged as significant areas of interest to the january 6th commission. phone company verizon, the january 6 committee are being sued by conservative lawyer john eastman. documents show it is over subpoenas for his phone records. he says the subpoena violates his fourth amendment rights. he worked on trump's legal team. he outlined in a memo how then vice president mike pence could throw out election results and keep trump in office. we'll, of course, have much more on the january 6 investigation this hour, in about 20 minutes or so from now. meanwhile, donald trump is being dealt another blow in his bid to keep his tax records -- returns from congress. a federal judge ruled the treasury department can disclose the records to a house committee that requested them more than two years ago. the treasury department during the trump administration resisted releasing returns. the judge has given trump 14 days to appeal.
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now, a sobering marker for the u.s. in the battle against coronavirus. the country now crossing 800,000 confirmed deaths since the pandemic began. now, the delta variant is still the biggest driver of cases for now as you can see there. dr. anthony fauci says that will change. what's still unclear, though, however, is how severe the infections will be. have a listen. >> whether it's inherently less pathog pathogenic as a virus or more protection in the community, weev we're just going to have to see when it comes in the united states. for sure, jim, it will be dominant in the united states given its doubling time. >> dr. fauci says the vaccine is still the best way to prevent severe infection. a new study shows how over 1
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million covid deaths and 10 million hospitalizations in the united states. the national institutes of health how effective vaccines are against the omicron variant will be revealed later today. while it evades some protections, booster doses bring it back up. now, minnesota is among a growing number of u.s. states once again with hospitals filling up as you can see on the chart. doctors there are sounding the alarm pleading for people to get vaccinated and take other precautions. >> we are running out of words to describe the crisis that we are seeing here in minnesota and across the u.s. it's a true crisis, and now we are invoking our heart. i'm a physician, and so many of the health care heroes came to this industry because it's a calling. so we are saying, our heart is aching. our beds are full. our emergency departments are
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full. our hallways have patients in them, some on breathing machines. and at this point, our care capacity is stretched to the very limits. >> warning there from that doctor. well, other institutions are also seeing the current surge. they shut down the campus after 90 900 covid cases in one week. a high percentage are of the omicron variant in fully vaccinated individuals. some of them even received a booster dose. thankfully they haven't seen any severe illnesses in students yet. 97% of people on campus are fully vaccinated. and covid-19 is also wreaking havoc on the world of professional sports. in the u.s. at least 65 national league players have tested positive for the virus in the past two days and are now in the covid protocol. and the national hockey league, at least nine games will need to
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be rescheduled between the flames, senators and in new york. and here in the uk, a victory for british prime minister johnson in the fight against the fast spreading coronavirus. it comes at a potentially high political cost. lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in support of the new restrictions, including mask mandates, work from home orders, and covid passports. but the embattled leader is facing a stinging backlash from members of his own conservative party, many of whom voted against the new rules. some called the measures draconian and talked openly about a challenge to his leadership. joining me is salma abdelaziz covering it all week. we were talking yesterday in terms of the rebellion numbers much higher those who voted against him. that took many by surprise. probably the prime minister, too, who was trying to garner support ahead of this vote. >> nearly 100 conservative mps. i mean, that is a big backlash.
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and up until the last minute, literally the last hour before the vote, the prime minister was sitting with them trying to convince them he obviously wasn't able to. and what is politics without the power of persuasion? if boris johnson can't convince his own party, his own mps for the measures he desperately needs, that's an issue. >> explain to viewers around the world who might be scratching their heads as to why members of his own party won't support covid passports that we're seeing right across europe. >> well, i mean, for these conservative mps, and it is important to separate these two issues. these mps see the step as too far for government, an authoritarian move, cushing civil liberties. it is unbritish, untraditional, something that shouldn't happen in this country. you speak to health experts, doctors and nurses, they say the measures are absolutely necessary. omicron is on the rise at a phenomenal rate and a risk to
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the health system. the bigger picture is prime minister boris johnson the last two years since he took office has been seen as a winner, a leader, as a person who can get stuff done. now he seems to be losing that reputation, isa. and being able to defy the prime minister, that means they don't think he's that winner any more. >> and that's it. and the fear is if you go to plan c, he will need to go back to parliament and need their support again. >> and that's the big fear. separate of boris johnson's political future, we are a country very much in the grip of a variant right now. if more restrictions are needed and you heard about that doubling time, how quickly these cases rise, and, yes, the authorities are trying to push out booster jabs as fast as they can. but you don't have that full layer of protection across the country. you have these cases rising so quickly. look, if the prime minister needs more restrictions, he's going to have to do it without his party. >> well, i'm getting my booster on thursday. i'm very excited. thank you very much. still to come on the show, an update on the breaking news out of hong kong that we told
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you the top of the hour. dozens of people are said to be stuck in a high-rise building. we have that live from hong kong next. and a virtual meeting between the leaders of russia and china. what is on their agenda? do stay right here. look, i gotta say something. 'said it before and i'll say it again. if i thought a reverse mortgage was just some kind of trick to take your home, i wouldn't even be here. it's just a loan, like any other, with one big difference- and that difference is how you choose to pay it back. find out how reverse mortgage loans really work with aag's free, no-obligation reverse mortgage guide eliminate monthly mortgage payments, pay bills, medical costs, and more. call now!
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now, we are following breaking news out of hong kong where a fire inside the city's world trade center has left about 150 people trapped on the roof of the building. rescue operations are ongoing, but the fire is said to be under control. cnn's kristie lu stout joins us now with the latest. kristie, this is incredibly worrying. what more are you hearing this hour? >> reporter: this is what we're learning right now. here in hong kong, firefighters have managed to rescue hundreds of people after a fire broke out in the high-rise commercial building here in the city. at one point earlier today just a couple of hours ago, 350 people were trapped at the rooftop of this building. we have learned since that over 1200 people have been evacuated. no one is on the roof of this building. the building is called the world trade center tower. it is located in the district of
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hong kong. cause way bay, a busy and popular commercial district. again, the rescue operation is winding down. authorities are reporting over 1200 people have been evacuated already. there have been injuries, though. 13 people injured, one male, 12 female, among them a woman in her 50s or 60s who was evacuated and seen in a semi conscious state. this building, it is a multi-use commercial block. it's an office tower. it's a shopping center. there are also a number of restaurants there. the fire broke out around lunchtime 12:37 p.m. local time. it was caused according to authorities by a switchboard malfunction located on the first floor, and then the fire spread. now, cnn has had crews there on the scene surveying the scene, taking footage like the footage you're seeing on your screen right now, talking to eyewitnesses as well as evacuees. i want you to listen to this. her name is wini yun.
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>> how do you feel after getting out of the fire? >> no more people tell me. thank you. i'm safe. >> reporter: she is one of 1,259 people evacuated today by hong kong firefighters after this fire broke out in the world trade center building. the fire is out. the rescue operation is winding down. back to you, isa. >> the firefighters getting so many people out. kristie lu stout for us in hong kong. thank you, kristie. >> reporter: you're welcome. now the leaders of russia and china, vladimir putin and xi jinping are meeting on a video call before holding talks. they say the two will be discussing, quote, aggressive u.s. and nato rhetoric. mr. putin spoke tuesday with
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french president emanuel macron about guarantees on nato expansion in the east. this followed biden's meeting with zelensky. and russia's buildup along the border. fred pleitgen is in berlin with the talks we were telling you about. cyril vanier is in france. fred, let me start with you. xi jinping, vladimir putin meeting virtually, and i believe this is their second meeting which really just shows, fred, this solidarity between beijing and moscow. what has come out of this meeting so far? >> reporter: the solidarity between beijing and moscow and certainly also the personal relationships between vladimir putin and xi jinping, both of them are saying that they are not only obviously colleagues, but they also consider each other to be friends. they consider themselves to be friends, and it's something vladimir putin has said in the
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past. so, certainly you can see that both of these countries are demonstrating that they are very close to one another diplomatically, and as far as their relations are concerned. but of course, isa, both of these countries also right now very much challenging the united states and the biden administration. russia, of course, with those troops amassing there close to the ukrainian border, but then also the chinese as far as taiwan is concerned, some of the moves, the military moves china has made there. both of them very eager to demonstrate that very close relationship. in fact, vladimir putin has already said in his opening segment that he gave, which was actually on a live stream, that russia will not be participating in the u.s.'s political boycott of the beijing olympics. in fact, vladimir putin says he will be very happy to attend the opening ceremony and meet with xi jinping there. vladimir putin then went on to say that he considers the relations between china and russia to be a role model of inter-state relations in the 21st century. so you can clearly see that
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these two nations, these two leaders, who have been vastly criticized, not just the united states, but many of the u.s.'s allies, very much demonstrating how important they are to one another. and, of course, the other thing that is probably going to come out of the summit is those relations will become even deeper in an economic since and in a diplomatic sense, but also this is something to keep an eye on as well, isa, in a military sense as well. one of the things we've seen in the past couple year is more and more of these large russian military maneuvers have also encompassed chinese troops as well. so clearly a show of force by these two leaders and a show of unity as well, isa. >> very important point there from fred. stay with us, fred. let me get to cyril. cyril, this meeting between zelensky and macron, zelensky will be looking for some sort of promise or guarantee that the french will help protect ukraine's territory, integrity and sovereignty given the rising tensions. what are you hearing could come out of this here? >> reporter: oh, he will get
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that guarantee, isa, no doubt. i mean, the europeans have been aligned on a robust support for ukraine's territorial integrity a long time now. president macron reiterated that during his phone call with russian president vladimir putin yesterday. the europeans are very much on ukraine's side here. now, what does that mean, right, support for ukraine's territorial integrity? do not expect to see france pledge french troops, right, send french troops to ukraine in the event of russian aggression. let alone european troops. the europeans and the french in particular who are leading the diplomatic format along with germany and the talks with ukraine and russia, what they want to do as they put it, they are in deterrence mode. they want to prevent any aggression by russia on ukraine from taking place at all. and their main weapon to do that has been to warn russia that it will face severe economic
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consequence if it is -- if it engages in hostile action to ukraine. they're trying to prevent it in the first place, isa. that is the heart of the matter here and what you are going to hear macron reiterate today. >> cyril vanier in paris for us. fled plotkin, on two separate meetings given the rise in geopolitical tensions. thank you to you both. still ahead right here on the show, an organizer of the january 6 rally in washington, d.c. is speaking out about the attack on the u.s. capitol. why he now says he feels betrayed by former president trump. the uk's red list of covid travel restrictions no longer applies to 11 african countries. we'll have reaction from johannesburg next. metamucil psyllium fiber, gels to trap and remove the waste that weighs you down. it also helps lower cholesterol and slows sugar absorption to promote healthy blood sugar levels. so you can feel lighter and more energetic metamucil. support your daily digestive health.
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welcome back to "cnn newsroom." i'm isa soares. if you're just joining us, let me bring you up to date with our top stories this hour. america's top health officials are warning of an omicron variant take over that will bring another pandemic wave. it comes as the u.s. marks 800,000 coronavirus deaths. and lawmakers have voted to recommend criminal contempt charges against former trump chief of staff mark meadows. the case now goes to the justice department who will decide whether or not to pursue those charges. meadows failed to comply with january the 6th investigators. and lawmakers are also hearing from a key organizer of the rally that preceded the january 6th attack. dustin stockton was interviewed by the house select committee on tuesday. he spoke with cnn a short time later. he says he feels betrayed by former president trump. a moment of clarity that came when trump told his followers to march on the capitol, even
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though he knew necessary precautions weren't in place. have a listen. >> i've really struggled to come to terms with because this was somebody who we sacrificed for. we invested our lives and our time, and in a lot of ways, the warning signs were there. we saw other people come forward from his inner circle. essentially, he abandons people when the going gets tough for people. you know, in some ways it's embarrassing to think that in a lot of ways we bought into what essentially turned out to be a bluff or a con. >> stockton also claims he saw many top trump advisers in the willard hotel in the days leading up to the attack. the d.c. hotel has been a command center for trump allies who were seeking to overturn the 2020 election.
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lawmakers have also passed a bill that makes it easier to defend the u.s. capitol in the future. the bill gives the capitol police chief authority to ask for help from the d.c. national guard without prior approval. currently the chief has to get consent from the capitol police board before calling in that kind of back up. the bill now degrees to president biden to sign. now, three residents of the villages, well known retirement community, are facing charges of voter fraud. they are each accused of casting more than one ballot in an election which is a felony. while it's not clear which candidates they voted for in the 2020 election, the villages is widely considered a republican strong hold in florida. their arrests come just weeks after republican governor vowed to create a state dedicate today investigating election crimes. the bill to raise the national debt limit is headed to president biden's desk.
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they passed a $2.3 trillion bill hours ago. the u.s. could default without an extension. meanwhile, a self-imposed christmas deadline for the senate to pass president biden's domestic agenda is fast approaching. the moderate democrat joe manchin still not on board. he's been meeting with the white house to try to iron out their differences, but progressive lawmakers are losing patience. >> most of build back better was pre-negotiated, preconferenced with senator manchin, and with the president, and i believe the president when he said that he had a commitment, and that he had confidence that he would get the 50 votes needed in the senate. and i've spoken to the white house again recently. i believe that still to be true. >> well, senator manchin says inflation is one of his main concerns. americans are paying more for everything from ground beef to gas. last month grocery store prices are up 6.4% over a year ago.
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another key inflation gauge, of course, is the producer price index. ppi has seen its biggest increase since it was calculated in 2010. it rose 10% over the 12-month period ending november. if you strip out food, energy and trade services, the industry still climbs 9.6%. you can see on the screen. united airlines is joining the list of companies for what is expected to be a busy holiday season. airline predicts this holiday crunch will be even busier than the thanksgiving rush. american airlines says the return of demand for air travel has been intense. cnn's pete muntean has more on what travelers can expect. >> reporter: the tsa says december 23rd and january 3rd will be the busiest for air travel, unlikely, according to the tsa administrator, that we see a new pandemic-era air travel record. the last one will be hard to beat. the sunday after thanksgiving, when 2.45 million people passed through security at america's
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airports, but never say never. we just saw 2 million people pass through security at america's airports this past sunday. the tsa says you might want to consider booking for christmas day itself if you haven't bought a ticket already. pete muntean, cnn, regan national airport. well, travelers aren't the only ones on the move. new data shows shipments and deliveries are moving fairly well ahead of the holiday ship matrix by fedex, u.s. postal service, all moving at close to 100% on time performance. the company says the better than expected results are because more people are shopping in store, ordering in advance, and all three carriers have brought in tens of thousands of seasonal workers. people getting organized really. the uk has moved 11 african countries from its red list of travel restrictions. south africa first identified the omicron variant which many viewed as unfair.
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omicron remains a problem in the country where it was found. it is spreading at a rate it hasn't seen before. let's get more. david mackenzie is live in johannesburg for us. talk to us about what the w.h.o. said. it sounded really the alarm over the omicron variant. >> reporter: well, that's right, isa. there is some anecdotal evidence here in south africa and the region of southern africa that there isn't necessarily a big rush on hospitals, which is the good news. now, because it appears, at least, that this variant is far more transmissible, there is a warning from the head of the w.h.o. that it's not time to let our guard down against this pandemic. take a listen. >> surely we have learned by now that we under estimate this virus at our peril. even if omicron does cause less severe diseases, the sheer
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number of cases could once again overwhelm unprepared health systems. i need to be very clear. vaccines alone will not get any country out of this crisis. >> reporter: he said also that there needs to be a more equitable, which we've been talking for many months now, isa, distribution of vaccines even in the face of the evidence that boosters will help against omicron likely. there is a sense here that the next few weeks will be critical in understanding, well, is it more or less severe? and will it lead to a crush on hospitals? there has been some early evidence, as i said, that it won't, but these things take time to develop. and as you've seen already, and you reported earlier in this hour, there are parts of the world and parts of the u.s. already dealing with very serious outbreaks and surges of covid-19 that aren't even associated with this variant.
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so as you bring omicron into the mix, what impact will that have? will it surge cases? will it be almost dual pandemics of delta and omicron in parts of the world? we just don't know at this point. and a very wary public that wants answers, i'm afraid those clear-cut answers won't come for smooim. isa? >> very important point there. david mackenzie for us in johannesburg. what stood out for me from the w.h.o., it's vaccines, not masks, do it all, do it consistently and do it well. thank you very much for that. now, the police killing of daunte wright in april sparked a nationwide outcry. a former officer charged in his death says she mixed up her weapons in the heat of the moment. new testimony about her training and the use of force. that is next. >> i shot him! oh, my god!
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now, two u.s. federal judges have ruled that a secret 2009 settlement agreement between virginia due free and jeffrey epstein and prince andrew said it should be released. it comes as judges rule over files in september. they asked the case to be dismissed saying the suit violated the terms of the agreement. she said she was recruited by epstein when she was under age. prince andrew denied any wrongdoing. new testimony in the police killing of daunte wright. they said she was fully trained in the use of her taser. she mistook the service gun when she shot and killed the black
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man. in minneapolis, minnesota with the latest, a warning his report contains graphic images. >> taser, taser, taser. >> reporter: what was in officer kim potter considering in these tense moments with daunte wright? >> i shot him! oh, my god! >> reporter: and what influenced her to draw any weapon at all? >> i don't know what happened. >> reporter: those are the questions the court weighed in the manslaughter trial. the defense pleaded that she feared for the life of her fellow officers. >> he is ignoring the warnings, taser, taser. i'm going to tase you. you have a right to use deadly force to save that cop, that police officer that's lying over the seat, correct? >> potentially, yes. but i wasn't there. >> reporter: the prosecution objecting as their witness, a
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senior officer, made a point for the defense. the second witness to do so thus far. >> the objection is overruled. you may answer. >> reporter: commander garrett of the brooklyn center police department conceded potter's use of deadly force may have been lawful. >> you've got to save that officer that's laying over the seat, correct? >> yes. >> if you're dragged down the street by this driver if he gets away, that man is going to be seriously injured or dead. correct statement? >> could be. >> reporter: that man, michael johnson, was also called by the prosecution. >> kim, that guy was trying to take off with me in the car. >> reporter: but he also testified he could have been killed if potter hadn't done something. >> and if he had taken off with you in that car halfway, what would have happened to you? what do you think would be the worst that would happen? >> probably dragged. >> reporter: dragged and what? >> injured. >> seriously injured and maybe even dead, right? >> yes.
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>> reporter: of course, the encounter turned deadly for wright instead when potter fired her hand gun instead of her taser. >> the way i have minor yented is for a cross draw. >> reporter: a less lethal device she trained on near perfect markets her entire career. >> she got a perfect score? >> yes. >> reporter: and the topic of the taser versus the service weapon has been front and center thus far in this trial. witnesses for the prosecution testifying that officers in brooklyn center carry their service weapon on their dominant side, their taser on the opposite side. that in order to attempt to limit weapon confusion. josh campbell, cnn, minneapolis. >> of course, we'll stay on top of this trial in minneapolis for you. coming up, the long road to recovery begins after a deadly string of tornadoes ripped across the united states over the weekend. we'll have the latest on those efforts after a short break. visibly diminish wrinkled skikin in... crepe corrector lotion... only from gold bond.d.
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with any usb port. order now on and get our best deal ever! do you have a life insurance policy you no longer need? now you can sell your policy - even a term policy - for an immediate cash payment. call coventry direct to learn more. we thought we had planned carefully for our retirement. but we quickly realized we needed a way to supplement our income. our friend sold their policy to help pay their medical bills, and that got me thinking. maybe selling our policy could help with our retirement. i'm skeptical, so i did some research and called coventry direct. they explained life insurance is a valuable asset that can be sold. we learned we could sell all of our policy, or keep part of it with no future payments. who knew? we sold our policy. now we can relax and enjoy our retirement as we had planned. if you have $100,000 or more of life insurance, you may qualify to sell your policy. don't cancel or let your policy lapse without finding out what it's worth. visit to find out if your policy qualifies. or call the number on your screen.
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coventry direct, redefining insurance. air wick air wick scented oils are infused with natural essential oils to create authentic seasonal scents that fill your home with holiday spirit all season long. connect to nature this season. now, community members in mayfield, kentucky, came together tuesday night for a candle light vigil to remember those who died in last weekend's deadly tornado outbreak. many are also finding inspiration in a spontaneous
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moment of hope captured amid the devastation wrought by the storms. have a look. ♪ jordan baze and his family rode out the storm in their basement. their home was destroyed. but while going through the debris, jordan saw his piano was mostly intact. he sat down to play, and his sister started recording this video which has since gone viral. we understand really why. and in the coming hours, u.s. president joe biden will be visiting some of the areas hardest hit by the storms which left at least 88 people dead. more than 100 are still missing. cnn's brynn gingras reports now from mayfield. >> reporter: a massive effort to clean up in eight states devastated by friday's
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catastrophic storms, and now an amazon facility in illinois under investigation by the occupational safety and health administration, and a candle factory in mayfield, kentucky, by the state's labor division. >> everybody is expected to live up to certain standards of both the law of safety and of being decent human beings. >> i was just praying that god would take me because i didn't want to endure the pain no more. >> reporter: jim douglas worked at the candle factory for more than two years and says the company treated him well and was prepared for friday night's storms. from his hospital bed in nearby paduka, douglas reliving what it was like inside when the tornado struck. >> it was different layers come down and i could feel my body would like compact more. i was getting -- my face was already on the ground, but there was something trapped in my pelvic area. >> reporter: you were being crushed. >> i was definitely being
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crushed. there were people trying to escape from there. and what they were doing is walking over at least me. and when they were doing that, it was pushing my chest flat, so it was really difficult to breathe. >> reporter: douglas telling cnn he estimates 15 feet of debris lay between him and the rescuers using heavy machinery to get to him. >> i think the guys said, i see him below this glass. there was a door with glass on it. it says, james, close your eyes. so i closed my eyes and they broke the glass, and the guy who was at my feet, he kind of grabbed the back of my shorts and a couple guys grabbed my arm, and they just shaked me up. >> reporter: they were heroes. they remained on-site continuing to sift through debris where people died. more people are feared dead in
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ken kentucky, some of them infants. >> the age range has gotten harder. it ranges now from 2 months to 98 years of the kentuckyians that we have lost. >> i heard cries for help. >> reporter: the weight of the loss is heavy here. this woman is still traumatized because she couldn't save the life of a little boy who was trapped in his home. >> as a mom, to know that my son is safe and i can't help save the life of that baby, i just kept trying to breathe life into him. >> reporter: now a test of resiliency as residents look to the future. douglas says nothing will get in his way for what he knows is a long road toward healing. >> i believe i got a second chance and a lot of people didn't. >> reporter: douglas thanking each and every one of his rescuers, amazed that they were even able to find him that night. recovery efforts continue across the state in kentucky where dozens of national guard members helping out with those efforts. and as we wait for the president to arrive here on wednesday, we are expecting bad weather, which
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could impede those efforts. brynn gingras, cnn in mayfield, kentucky. >> thank you, brynn. well, scientists are painting a grim picture of human caused climate change are transforming the arctic landscape. they find the region is rapidly losing ice cover, turning the frozen tundra into an environment that's greener and browner than it was even a decade ago. this past year was the seventh warmest on record and scientists warm temperatures will only continue to rise. >> the arctic as w.m.o. keeps saying, is one of the fastest-warming parts of the world. it's warming more than twice as fast as the global average. >> they also said the ice is -- bringing more trash and noise which could affect how mammals communicate. the new york police department will soon make
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history by appointing its first female police commissioner. it's only taken 176 years. mayor elect eric adams will tap her to lead the nation's largest police department. an official ceremony will take place in queens this morning. she is currently the chief of detectives in lassalle county. the new york police officers welcome the news hoping she can get the department and city back on track. congratulations to her. now, the national basketball association has a new all-time three-point leader. steph curry of the golden state warriors broke the record with this shot in new york. he now has 2,977 three-pointers over 789 games. and in case you're wondering, that average is almost four per game every game since he entered the league in 2009. >> i never want to call myself the greatest shooter until i got this record. so i'm comfortable saying that now. >> when people say who is the
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greatest shooter of all time now -- >> i got that, baby. >> he seemed pretty modest. i would be jumping on that table. he now removes ray allen who was on hand for the game. it took 1300 games to set his record. he paid tribute to the sharp shooter after the warriors. have a listen. >> this is really special, man. i've been thinking about this number for a long time. i even have it on my shoes. so basketball history, this is pretty special. i mean, like i said, these two legends, i watched him growing up and shoot the ball because of him and my dad. full circle moment. man, i'm blessed. blessed for sure. >> curry twice being named the the nba's most valuable player and has led the warriors to three championships. at the age of 33 he has years of
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basketball, and plenty more three points ahead of him. that does it for me. thanks so much for joining. "early start" is next. i shall see you tomorrow. bye-bye.
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visit your nearest xfinity store and see how the switch squad can help you switch and save. get $200 off a new eligible 5g phone when you switch to xfinity mobile. talk with our helpful switch squad at your local xfinity store today. good morning, everyone. it is wednesday, december 15th. it's 5:00 a.m. here in new york. thanks so much for getting an early start with us. i'm laura jarrett. >> and i'm christine romans. welcome to our viewers around the united states and around the world. we have reports from london, kentucky and tokyo. but we begin on capitol hill. breaking overnight, the full house of representatives voting to hold former white house chief of staff mark meadows in criminal contempt of congress. you heard a lot about all the documents he hande


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