tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN December 17, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PST
hello and a very warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the united states and right around the world. i'm isa soares in london. just ahead right here on "cnn newsroom." >> it's here now and it's spreading, and it's going to increase. >> i think we're really just about to experience a viral blizzard. >> i would urge people to be extremely cautious, especially because we already had a surge of delta, and now we have a surge of omicron on top of that. and we really don't know what's going to happen with omicron.
>> a sobering warning as covid cases across the united states continue to increase, and fast. this as the cdc voted to recommend pfizer, moderna over johnson & johnson's vaccine due to side effect concerns. plus anger boiling over inside the democratic party as a key part of joe biden's agenda is now in jeopardy. and the wild and dangerous weather hammering the united states as typhoon rai barrels across the philippines. we're live for you at the world weather center. ♪ >> announcer: live from london, this is "cnn newsroom" with isa soares. welcome to the show, everyone. it is friday, december 17th. we begin this hour with a surge in covid cases across the united states and really dire warnings that things are about to get worse. officials are scrambling to stem the spread of not one, but two
highly contagious variants, both delta and omicron infections are climbing fast just as the holidays are approaching. cnn's nick watt has the story for you. >> reporter: covid-19 cases and hospitalizations climbed around 40% this past month. deaths, says the cdc, forecast to rise in the month ahead. the delta variant still rampant. omicron on the rise. >> it's here now, and it's spreading, and it's going to increase. for unvaccinated, we are looking at a winter of severe illness and death if you're unvaccinated. for themselves, their families, and the hospitals they'll soon overwhelm. >> very soon, it's going to be the dominant variant. we've seen that in south africa. we're seeing it in the uk. and i'm absolutely certain that's what we're going to be seeing here relatively soon. >> reporter: for the vaccines, this variant is now the most complete escapee, say researchers in a new pre-print
study, although vaccines are still highly effective at preventing severe disease or death. >> it is reassuring that these infections seem to be less severe, but that's really only true probably if you're a healthy person who's been immunized and ideally immunized with three shots. ♪ >> reporter: meantime, "hamilton" among the broadway shows canceling performances once more after cases amongst the cast, just two months after reopening. princeton and nyu just joined cornell and others moving what's left of the semester back online. a depressing dose of deja vu. officials in philly are warning, don't party with people outside your household over the holidays. >> it's hard, and it feels impossible, and it feels unfair. these gatherings, when we get together with friends and family, are when we infect each other with covid. >> reporter: pro sports teams demonstrating how the virus is
spreading. odell beckham jr. scored monday night. next morning, joined the long list of players and staff testing positive or quarantining after exposure. >> they're really a window into community spread, and kudos to the sports leagues because they are actually doing a fantastic job of surveillance testing. and the rest of the country, we're driving a car down a dark road with the headlights off while looking in the rearview mi mirror. >> reporter: this afternoon -- >> we have 15 yeses, zero noes. >> reporter: cdc vaccine advisers unanimous in recommending the cdc change its guidance to say that the pfizer and moderna vaccines are preferred over the j&j. why? well, those very rare blood clots connected to the j&j that can be fatal. here in the u.s., they're looking at the uk as a forewarning of what might land on american soil. the uk just recorded its highest ever daily case count of new
covid cases of the entire pandemic. nick watt, cnn, los angeles. >> of course vaccinations are key as we head into the holiday. cnn spoke earlier with a member of the u.s. food and drug administration's vaccine advisory committee, and he explained how boosters and even initial doses are critical to controlling the spread. have a listen. >> the cdc estimated today that the doubling time was about two days, which is much faster than the delta variant in terms of transmissibility. so you're therefore much more likely to be infected. the best thing you can do is to vaccinate yourself. i know we talk about giving a third dose, but the most important thing is to get those first two doses. i just came off of being on service for a week at children's hospital of philadelphia, and we saw a number of children, more than i've seen consistent with the national afternoon, and what all those children had in common even though most were over 5,
many were over 12, none of them were vaccinated. none of their family members. no one was vaccinated. we talk about boosting, but we need to make sure even if you get two doses of an mrna vaccine, i think that's highly likely to protect you against severe illness. >> while booster shots are playing a central role in european efforts really to slow the omicron variant, moderna is expected to deliver 10 million doses to germany as supplies were running short. here in london, a source tells cnn queen elizabeth has canceled a pre-christmas lunch because of the surge in covid cases. the uk has recorded more than 88,000 new infections in the past day. that is yet another record. scotland is telling people to stay home as much as possible. in france, is saying visitors arriving from the uk will need to have a compelling reason to travel. it's frurging its own residentso postpone trips to the uk. and denmark's prime minister is warning of new restrictions to slow the spread of omicron.
the government meets with parliament today to really discuss its recommendations. cnn's salma abdelaziz is standing by. but first i want to go to eleni giokos. good morning. we painted a picture that's beginning to look a lot like last christmas for much of europe. talk us through the measures that are being taken to try and stem the rise of omicron as well as the spread of delta and the challenges, eleni, the governments are facing. >> reporter: i mean it's fair to say that what's happening in the uk is almost a harbinger of what's to come in various parts of europe. let's focus on germany, for example, that says it's only a matter of time before the omicron variant becomes the main variant in that country. while its seven-day incidence rate has dropped, they still reported 51,000 positive cases in the last 24 hours, and they're running out of vaccines. they've now procured over 92
million vaccine doses. they're trying to at least, spending over $2.5 billion on that to try and ensure that they have enough to get through the first quarter of 2022. they've said that that booster shot is going to be vital to fighting omicron. and then importantly, also knowing that 30% of the population has not been vaccinated. they are clamping down on the unvaccinated, isa. they're not allowing them to go to public areas apart from essential businesses, and that's caused a lot of anger on the ground. if you see what denmark and norway are doing, where norway has said omicron is going to be the dominant variant by the end of this week. denmark now clamping down on public areas. no more than 50 people can meet at any one time. it's cold. it's christmas. you know, we know that new year's is going to be a very big issue in terms of community transmission. rome, for example, is another italian city that has canceled new year parties and events. so governments in europe, in various parts of europe, are
very worried about what omicron is going to mean for its health care system. we know if you're vaccinated, it causes less severe illness and it's unlikely you'd need to be hospitalized. but it's still an unknown factor. so it's about booster shots and about restrictions and ensuring people are not meeting in close proximity over the holiday season. >> i want to go to selma who's in london. we were warned of a tidal wave of cases with yet another record high. yet there's still to plans to cancel christmas. >> reporter: that's why the prime minister is being accused of lockdown by stealth. you know, you're here. it feels like either you have the virus or you know someone with the virus. that tidal wave has absolutely arrived two days in a row now records have been broken for daily case counts. the top doctor in this country is warning that more records will be broken in the coming days because omicron just travels that much faster. i want to point to that "r"
rate, that "r" number of 3 to 5. what does that mean? that means for every one person inf infected, they in turn on average will infect 3 to 5 others. that's why even though we're seeing these huge case numbers, we're concerned about that lag time, that period of time between these positive cases and when people start to show up in hospital and what kind of pressure that can put on the health care system. now, businesses are already independently, some of them, shutting down, closing their doors. cancellations abound left, right, and center. people are canceling their social gathering, and everyone, isa, is reconsidering what they're going to do and where they're going to be on december 25th because more positive cases means more people in self-isolation, means more people alone on christmas. >> and the hospitality industry also panicking about what this means for them at this busy season. let me ask you about this because overnight, salma, we saw boris johnson and his party really suffering, i think it's fair to say, a blow to his authority with a by-election
defeat. normally we wouldn't cover by-elections, but why do you think this is so important here? >> reporter: yes. i never thought that on international news we'd need to talk about a by-election, but we are doing that because this is an indication of what boris johnson's credibility is like, his authority is like, his power and his ability right now because this was a conservative seat that's been held by the party for 200 years. and yesterday in a shock election, it went to a liberal democratic candidate that won by 6,000 -- nearly 6,000 seats. they used to have in the last election a 25,000 vote majority. that's the majority that was overturned. and conservative lawmakers have been on the airwaves today saying, look, this is an indication of how people are angry at prime minister boris johnson over the recent scandals. i'm going to remind our viewers of those scandals, plural. christmas parties allegedly taking place inside downing street during lockdown last
year, during a period in time very similar to now when a variant was spreading through the country. hundreds of people were dying a day, and the allegation is that the prime minister's senior staff were holding christmas parties inside downing street, violating rules and restrictions. so this here is yet another strike towards prime minister boris johnson and gives us an indication of his weak leadership at a very critical moment. >> what we don't know yet is whether this is a protest vote or really shifting sand here for the conservative party. thank you very much, ladies. great to have you on the show this morning. of course we'll have much more ahead on the pandemic, including dr. sanjay gupta's report on which vaccines health experts prefer. steve jang is live in beijing with an update on covid cases spreading across australia's new south wales. alex thomas joins me in london with the latest premier league games being canceled because, of course, the rise of the covid-19. now, i want to take you to washington, where the january
6th committee has subpoenaed a retired army colonel who circulated a document about undermining the 2020 presidential election. now, james walden sent the powerpoint presentation to trump al lyles and u.s. lawmakers. it was turned over to the committee by mark meadows. ken cuccinelli said he spoke to the panel last week about homeland security preparations ahead of january 6th. the right-wing tv network fox news has lost its bid to stop a billion dollar lawsuit over the 2020 presidential election. a judge in the u.s. state of delaware is allowing dominion voting to press ahead with its defamation case against fox news after finding its coverage of election fraud may have been inaccu inaccurate. given that fox apparently refused to report contrary evidence, including evidence from the doj, the complaint's allegations support the reasonable inference that fox
intended to keep dominion's side of the story out of the narrative. the ruling allows dominion to try to uncover extensive communications within fox news and to interview the network's top people under oath. fox called the suit baseless and an all-out assault on free speech. meanwhile, president biden's landmark spending bill is languishing in congress with little hope it will be voted on by the christmas deadline set by the white house. democratic lawmakers who have been trying to work out a deal are growing increasingly impatient with two senate colleagues who continue to block the legislation. have a listen. >> what's your general feeling about -- are you frustrated? >> frustrated and disappointed. >> is it time to start breaking up bbb into more digestible pieces? >> i don't know if that's the answer or not. apparently manchin's approach to this has changed a lot. i don't know where he is today
or where he'll be tomorrow. >> for one person or two people to stop everything and that is why people in our country should know that a 50-50 sucks. >> what does that all mean? more now from cnn's jeff zeleny >> reporter: with just a little over a week remaining before christmas, it looks like president biden's build back better agenda will make it through the senate. this was always the deadline, an artificial one, but certainly designed to be a motivating factor for democrats to pass this really center piece of the president's economic agenda, that sweeping set of programs covering social programs and the environment. well, senator joe manchin, democrat of west virginia, has simply raised objections to this that have not been worked out. he spoke several times with president biden throughout the course of the last week, trying to reach some type of a compromise. as this week draws to a close, the holidays are looming. it simply is not there. there is no agreement at hand. so now the question going into next year, will this program,
will the biden agenda still have momentum to carry forward? that is certainly an open question next year an election year. difficult to pass anything of this magnitude. but certainly with the holidays upon the white house and upon congress, time is running out. it's a lost opportunity in some respects to not get this part of the biden agenda through. but the white house remaining optimistic that something can be done early in the new year. jeff zeleny, cnn, the white house. well, president biden said senator manchin is general supportive of the legislation, but he acknowledged getting the i bill through congress probably won't happen until next year. the president said this in a statement. my team and i are having ongoing discussions with senator manchin that work will continue next week. it takes time to finalize these agreements, prepare them for legislative changes and finish all the parliamentary and procedural steps needed to enable senate vote. we will advance this work together over the days and weeks ahead. we are determined to see this bill successfully on the floor as early as possible.
those words there from u.s. president joe biden. still to come right here on the show, search and rescue efforts are underway in the philippines as a powerful typhoon devastates the communities right across the country. and days after devastating tornadoes touched down in the united states, more dangerous weather spreading across parts of the country. scary sights and an unprecedented storm next on "cnn newsroom."
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single, easy-to-use software. visit paycom.com and schedule a demo today. now, more than 24 hours after landfall and typhoon rai still battering parts of the philippines with strong winds, torrential rains as well as flooding, at least two people have died in the storm. and so far the damage as you can see is extensive. houses are being levelled. boats destroyed. and water is chest deep really in some areas. the coast guard floated a one-month-old baby to safety there using a plastic tub as they waded through the waters. more than 330,000 have fled their homes for safer grounds. many before the storm hit thankfully. for more joining me from new delhi, they clearly have so much to contend with.
no power, covid, infrastructure damage, and still unpredict abl weather. >> reporter: absolutely. three to four full challenges into it, isa. this typhoon, super typhoon rai has left behind a trail of destruction and leaves behind a trail of destruction because the typhoon hasn't really left the country yet. we are expecting that to happen in the next couple of hours according to the disaster management team. this typhoon will only exit the country saturday morning local time. but let's just tell you more about the devastation because strong images have started to come in for the last few hours. now, we do know of the holiday island off the eastern coast card sargo that is well known and popular for surfing which is opened or rather reopened last month to tourists. that has been absolutely battered bring this super typhoon. it lies on the eastern coast. we know that eastern and central region has suffered a huge blow due to this typhoon.
lines are down, outages are reported. the airport has been heavily hit by the impact of this typhoon. evacuation processes continue. the latest press conference which is a couple hours ago, they mentioned that the focus continues to be on evacuation and rescue efforts. and this flooding, there's just deep flooding in many areas, and some strong images of the effort including the infant who was carried away in a tub where the water levels were really high, under an umbrella to safety, is just one of them. also we have images coming in from southern philippines where there is this couple that has been rescued inside their home, completely inundated by the huge rainfall that the area received. they have been pulled out through a makeshift box which is serving as a boat for them with the little belongings they could put together. now, isa, it is very important to note that philippines has been through 15 typhoons this year. and this is the worst typhoon that it's seen in the month of
december since the year 2012. and this is because of philippines being very vulnerable to climate change because of the warm oceans, and that is due to global warming, and thus the reason for the record typhoons in the area that keep slamming the coast line, which obviously also is a huge worry when it comes to the aftermath of this super typhoon because the worry is not only covid, as you mentioned, and these people being in these evacuation centers, but also landslides and storm surges, isa. >> absolutely. thinking of everyone in the philippines right now. very worrying indeed. in new delhi, thank you very much. let's get more on this. meteorologist derek van dam is tracking this. he joins me now. good morning to you. the storm has weakened a little since then, but you have officials warning of flooding as well as landslides. that remains a threat clearly, right? >> yes, clearly it does. the storm is still impacting portions of western philippines,
and that means the threat has not diminished just yet. we still have another six hours to go before the system really pulls away from the western fringes or western coast line of the country. let's take you into one of the eastern-facing cities that has seen complete destruction. we're talking the storm surge and the strong winds that impacted this area, which was equivalent at the time of its landfall 24 hours ago, of a category 5 atlantic hurricane. that constitutes a super typhoon in this part of the world. that is an oppressive dangerous storm to say the least. of course it interacts with the land and weakens some. it is 175 kilometers per hour, cuisine equivalent of a strong category 2 domestic hurricane for those watching. an interesting note, as it exits the western coast line of the philippines it will enter some warmer waters across the south china sea. it is forecast to restrengthen. some of our computer models have
it get dangerously close to the coast line of vietnam through the course of the weekend. and into the early parts of next week for southern china. you can see the wind forecasts going forward over the next 12 to 24 hours. it's going to be a very direct hit once again for the province of extreme western sections of the philippines, with another 4 to 5 inches of rain, roughly 125 millimeters for them. now, a little closer to home across the u.s., i know december has been extremely active in terms of severe weather. i have to report this because we have the potential for more severe weather throughout the southern plains today. storm prediction center has a slight risk of tornadoes, anywhere across north texas into southeastern oklahoma. this really puts it into perspective, isa. we have had 116 tornadoes so far this month. on average we typically only receive 23 in the month of december. what a month it's been. >> indeed. everyone stay safe. derek van dam, thank you very much. great to see you. coming up on "cnn newsroom," the u.s. cdc now says some
vaccines are better than others. why it is recommending the shots from moderna, pfizer over johnson & johnson. plus, the link between taylor swift and a covid outbreak in sydney, australia. we'll have the latest in a live report next. woman: i have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. now, there's skyrizi. ♪ things are getting clearer ♪ ♪ yeah i feel free ♪ ♪ to bare my skin, yeah that's all me. ♪ ♪ nothing and me go hand in hand ♪ ♪ nothing on my skin that's my new plan. ♪ ♪ nothing is everything. ♪
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biden cited ongoing talks with key senator joe manchin which had stalled. plus, covid is again tightening its grip on the united states. president biden met with his top health officials yesterday. he warns of severe illness and death of the unvaccinated that will overwhelm hospitals. hospitalizations in the u.s. are up 40% from just a month ago, and the country is now averaging more than 1300 deaths a day. "early start" will have much more on those two stories in about 25 minutes or so. now, the u.s. centers for disease control and prevention is now recommending pfizer and moderna vaccines over johnson & johnson. the j&j shot has been linked to a rare blood clotting syndrome. experts say there is no need for anyone who got the vaccine to panic. cnn's dr. sanjay gupta has more for you. >> reporter: well, this was a unanimous decision by this advisory committee. basically came down to two things. one is that the j&j vaccine did
not appear to be as effective as the moderna or pfizer vaccines. i think that was first point. and the second point was there seemed to be some greater risks, still very rare risks, but greater than what they're seeing with moderna and j&j. i want to show you the numbers here, broken down by females and males looking at ages and figuring out how likely people are to develop the rare clotting condition. you can see clearly the most vulnerable were women between the ages of 30 and 39. but still, we're talking about ten cases per million there. gives you an idea how detailed they get in these investigations to find these rare side effects. that gives you an idea how common this rare clotting condition is. when you look at the numbers overall, what you find is that through the end of august there were 54 cases total out of 14 million doses. as far as deaths go, there were nine deaths through december 9th
out of 17 million doses. now, that is, again, what is i think fueled this advisory committee's recommendation. i should point out, out of the 200 million or so vaccines that have been given in the united states, 17 million have been johnson & johnson. so it's not a large number. people who have received the johnson & johnson vaccine in the past should not look at this as cause for alarm. if people were likely to develop this clotting abnormality, it usually happens very quickly, within the first couple of weeks after receiving the shot. so, going forward, this johnson & johnson shots not necessarily being taken off the market, but the recommendations are clear from the advisory committee that the preference for adults is the pfizer or the moderna vaccines going forward. >> thank you very much, dr. sanjay gupta. well, researchers are reporting this year's flu vaccines may not be very effective. one of the strains of influenza has changed in this year's vaccines doesn't match it. in fact, researchers are calling
it a major miss match. as a result, the antibodies produced don't fight the disease so well. still experts say the vaccines will likely prevent severe illness. the food and drug administration will allow early pregnancies to be sent by mail. previously the agency required medication be picked up in person. the move comes as the u.s. supreme court considers a case that could reverse roe v. wade that could grant abortion rights in the united states. now, more than 2,000 new covid infections have been reported across the australian state of new south wales. that is another unfortunate daily record. surging case numbers are being driven by super spreader events at large venues like pubs as well as night clubs and the spread, of course, on the omicron variant doesn't help. according to the region's health minister, modelling shows infection numbers could go as
high as 25,000 per day, and that's by january. the case surge comes just as new south wales announced the lifting of many restrictions across the state. let's get more on the story. steven zhang has more for us. steven, this new south wales a new record, i think it's the second day. didn't restrictions ease not so long ago? this might be very worry for authorities there. >> reporter: that's right. they are worrisome when you look into the details. on friday they reported one death with 215 people remaining hospitalized, including 24 in intensive care. as you said, this is happening shortly after they eased a lot of their covid restrictions such as lifting mask mandates and compulsory health qr code checks in many public places. and then, of course, omicron struck. this highly transmissible variant seemed to be resistant to vaccines in many cases.
remember, new south wales boasts a very high vaccination rate of 93% in its population aged 16 and above. so this is really putting its local government in a bind in terms of whether or not they should re-introduce lockdowns and other covid restrictions. and as of now, especially as we head into the new year holiday, they are leaning towards not to do that. as you mentioned, local health officials already issuing that dire warning of new case numbers reaching 25,000 per day by january. but also as you noted, a lot of those new cases are driven by large gatherings. high school graduation events and night club parties, including one taylor swift themed party. you know one of her signature songs, i knew you were trouble. that's something they might want to say to omicron down under. isa? >> thank you very much, steven zhang for us. now, u.s. president joe biden is planning to sign a bill
for the shin zhang region. products will be allowed into the u.s. only if there is clear and convincing evidence they weren't made with forced labor. human rights groups call it the first expansive across china for uighur. nike and coca-cola lobbied against the bill. 12 members of the u.s.-based missionary group are back home after surviving kidnapping ordeal in haiti. a local source tells cnn they flew to the u.s. thursday the same day notorious gang released them. the former hostages spent two months in captivity where violence and kidnappings are common. a ransom was paid for their release, but not by the u.s. government. the report was far lower than what the gang initially demanded. the kidnapping led to protests in haiti. five other members of the missionary group were released earlier. and voters in chile will head to the polls on sunday for presidential runoff that could
change the country's future. the contest is the most polarized election chile has seen since the return to democracy in the mid 1990s. the two candidates are ultra conservative. and leftist former student leader. they are in an extremely tight race that could all come down to just who votes on sunday. some observers worry that the extreme polarization of the election could prevent many centrists from voting at all. of course, we'll stay on top of that story for you. still ahead, the prosecution rests its case against the former minnesota police officer charged in the killing of daunte wright. we have the latest from the courtroom coming up. we are following new developments concerning the fatal shooting on the set of the film "rust". the item authorities want actor alec baldwin to turnover. that's after the break. you are watching "cnn newsroom." get your zzz's... and get back to your rhythm. ♪
mom, hurry! our show's gonna start soon! i promised i wouldn't miss the show and mommy always keeps her promises. oh, no! seriously? hmm! it's not the same if she's not here. oh. -what the. oh my goodness! i don't suppose you can sing, can you? ♪ the snow's comin' down ♪ -mommy? ♪ i'm watching it fall ♪ watch the full story at www.xfinity.com/sing2 now, defense attorneys in the trial of former police
officer kim potter have begun laying out their case, calling their first witness on thursday. a use of force expert testified it was reasonable for potter to pull what she thought was her taser on daunte wright, directly contradicting prosecution witness who testified a day before. cnn's josh campbell has the latest for you. >> your honor, the state rests. >> reporter: the prosecution resting thursday morning in the manslaughter trial of former officer kim potter. >> i shot him, oh, my god! >> reporter: who shot and killed daunte wright after yelling taser during a traffic stop in april. the defense slamming the government's case. >> it's a confusing mess really. >> reporter: the defense witness testifying the brooklyn center police had no -- but to arrest daunte wright. >> was there an obligation in your view to arrest him, daunte
wright? >> absolutely a mandate. >> reporter: using a taser as he resisted was justified to protect other officers. >> was officer potter's perceived use of a taser consistent with contemporary and professional police training and practice? >> yes, sir. >> reporter: those comments contradicting an expert called wednesday by the prosecution. >> was it unreasonable and consistent with general accepted practices? >> reporter: in cross-examination thursday, the prosecution making the point that even if an officer can arrest a suspect, officers must still act appropriately. >> can't just shoot somebody because they decided not to cooperate with being arrested. >> of course not. she was a fine officer. >> reporter: also testifying the former brooklyn center police chief who resigned just days after the fatal shooting. >> i believe one of the reasons that i was required or requested to leave the agency was because i would not immediately fire kim potter. there's certain things within the department that you get known for.
are you handling your calls, are you professional when you talk with people, are you doing good police reports. she was known for doing all those things. >> reporter: and testifying that he saw nothing wrong with potter's actions during heron counter with wright. >> is it your opinion that not only could a taser be used in this chaotic situation, but also a gun, is that right? >> that is correct. >> are you doing any favors for her by saying this? >> i am not. >> reporter: potter's defense attorney who throughout the trial has repeatedly interrupted prosecutors to argue his points admonished yet again in court thursday. >> your honor, that wasn't a quote. it was a report that -- >> okay, counsel member, no speaking objections. oh, my god. >> yes, your honor, i apologize. >> reporter: two witnesses still remaining including potter herself who will face the jury and testify in her own defense. >> miss potter, do you still want to testify or have you changed your mind? >> yes, your honor, i'll testify. >> reporter: now, the testimony
of that former officer could come as early as friday. legal experts have described it as a bold move. you don't always see defendants taking the stand in their own defense. but it likely signals that defense attorneys are confident that their client will come across to the jury as believable. of course, it also comes with certain risks. by testifying she opens herself up to cross-examination by prosecution lawyers who no doubt have spent months plotting questions they would want to ask this officer if given the chance. josh campbell, cnn, minneapolis. >> of course, we'll stay on top of that story for you. now, ghislaine maxwell's sex trafficking trial is expected to continue. the first witness in her defense was a psychologist who testified about false memories in an attempt to undermine the four accusers who say maxwell groomed them for epstein's abuse. last week if you remember prosecutors introduced these pictures of maxwell and epstein embracing. the defense objected, but the judge agreed their close relationship is central to the case.
defense arguments are expected to last just a few days. the full trial of elizabeth holmes will soon go to the jury. closing arguments on thursday, prosecutor said holmes knowingly misled investors about the financial health of her company and overstated the viability of its blood testing technology. the defense account that even though it was in financial trouble, holmes did not intentionally deceive investors. jurors heard from more than 30 witnesses during the three-month trial. holmes took the stand in her own defense in the final week of testimony. we are learning new details about the investigation into the fatal shooting on the "rust" movie set. according to court documents, a search warrant has been issued for actor alec baldwin's cell phone. they want to obtain messages as well as call logs, photos, video and social media messages in relation to the film's production. cinematographer hurricane katrina hutchins was killed when the gun went off during
rehearsal. baldwin described what happened. have a listen. >> how about that, does that work? do you see that? that's good. i let go of the hammer, bang, the gun goes. everyone is horrified. they're shocked. it's loud. they don't have their ear plugs in. the gun was supposed to be empty. i was told i was handed an empty gun. there were cosmetic rounds, nothing with a charge at all, flash round, nothing. she goes down. i thought to myself, did she faint? the notion that there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me until probably 45 minutes to an hour later. >> now, when asked why he pointed the gun at hutchins and pulled the trigger when that wasn't in the script, baldwin said, quote, i would never point a gun at anyone and then pull the trigger, never, he says. now, the coronavirus and the
co-variant is wreak being havoc on sports leagues. thomas breaks down what's happening. >> this is a crucial time for england's premier league while coronavirus is spreading in other countries, it is one of the few top european football leagues to play over the christmas period. others have winter breaks, and it's the call of some managers to have a full week's worth of fixtures to have a fire break and stop the spread of infection in the premier league.
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welcome back, everyone. the nba and the nfl are hoping to save their seasons with new covid protocols in response to latest surge. positive tests have doubled in the national football league this week, but no games have been canceled. basketball hasn't fared as well. players and coaches will go back to wearing masks on benches and locker rooms and other team areas. testing will become more frequent in the next few weeks. cleveland browns quarterback baker mayfield, who is on the team's reserve covid-19 list, was clearly frustrated as you can see there by the league's shifting message. he tweeted, make your dam mind
on protocols and suggested the nfl was putting profits ahead of player safety. now, the english premier league is postponing more matches due to covid outbreaks among the teams. ten matches have been called off over the past six days. the move comes as the uk battles a major covid surge linked to the omicron variant we mentioned at the top of the show. alex thomas joins me now. for international viewers to get a sense of this, normally this is a very busy season for the premier league. this is exciting times for many people who love football. >> yeah, and as you just mentioned, it's not just the uk suffering from a surge in cases, and it's not just football. england's premier league as the only sporting competition to be affected. the reason it's going to impact the premier league so much, firstly, it's the most watched and lucrative of the big five in europe's football competitions. a global audience who want to see the matches on tv and of course the premier league is trying to juggle the need to put those matches on versus the health and safety of its playing
staff. i think what's frustrating managers particularly at the moment is a slight ambiguity in the rules. a bit like the nfl player tweeted out. obviously the rules are going to change because the virus is changing all the time. and sport is not in isolation to the wider society. what we've had is five matches called off for the last six days. one of the three premier league games scheduled for last night didn't happen. they were complaining they didn't know why the premier league said some matches were postponed others weren't. only half of the ten games are going to go ahead. that's ten teams not able to field a proper team. and some calling for a complete fire break, just to stop the spread of infections. take a week off, let all the squads isolate properly and come back with far fewer cases. >> who makes the call whether to stop the games or not? is this managers? >> the premier league board get together and they have released some rules now trying to make it clear as to how they decide it. but they like wider government
authorities struggling with what to do as cases escalate. >> do you think they are under pressure to try and stop the remaining games given the surge here? >> yeah, but they are also under pressure not to go back to a situation where you have to ban crowds from stadiums which is happening in germany. >> thank you very much, alex thomas there. now, the white house was the scene yesterday of pomp as well as circumstance. but it was also poignant. president biden seemed tearful as he bestowed the nation's highest military honor, the medal of honor to three soldiers. two of them posthumously. alvin cash who pulled seven soldiers from a burning vehicle in iraq in 2005. he died from his wounds. also honored with army sergeant chris christoffer soliz who used his body protecting an injured person in afghanistan in 2018. master sergeant plumlee was the only living recipient at the ceremony. he carried a soldier to safety while shooting at insurgents in afghanistan in 2013. and that does it for me here
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♪ it is friday, december 17th. happy friday, everybody. 5:00 a.m. exactly here in new york. thanks for getting an early start with us. i'm christine romans. >> i'm laura jarrett. welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. we begin this morning with pandemic whiplash here in the u.s. with just one week till christmas eve, now, so far here's what we know. the omicron variant appears highly contagious, but less deadly than the delta strain