tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN December 21, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PST
virus, not ourselves. >> unlike the previous strains, it transmits very readily to the air to large numbers of people. >> if we wait and see, then by the time we're seeing, it's always too late to act. >> it is being called an unpleasant case of deja vu. the u.s. sees another covid winter surge, but this time it's the omicron variant taking over. we are just hours away from president biden's speech on the pandemic. what will he tell americans as they head into the holidays? and jury deliberations will begin in the trial of the killing of daunte wright. we'll have closing arguments in the trial of the police officer kim potter. >> announcer: live from london, this is "cnn newsroom" with isa soares. welcome, everyone. it is tuesday, december 21st, and we begin with a staggering
really take over of the omicron variant in the united states. on monday, the cdc announced the highly contagious variant now accounts for more than 73% of new covid cases. now, omicron has been detected in all but two u.s. states as you can see there on your screen. it is even more prevalent in parts of the southeast as well as the northwest. now, these numbers really show just how quickly this variant has been spreading. the first week december, omicron made up less than 1% of new cases. three weeks later it accounts for nearly three quarters of new infections. and these numbers here paint a very similar picture. omicron racing past the delta variant there in blue to become really the dominant strain in a matter of weeks. and experts warn this is especially concerning as families, of course, gather for the holidays. >> he you see case report after case report of people gathering.
nobody feels sick. everybody is having a good time. and 50% of the people get infected just from that gathering because clearly there was one or more person in that gathering who had no symptoms and had no idea that they were infected. >> well, on monday texas reported the country's first omicron death. a man in his 50who was not vaccinated. and health experts are continuing to urge people to get vaccinated and to get boosted. have a listen. >> when someone says, well, i'm taking my own chances, it is my body, i'll worry about it. nobody should tell me that i need to get vaccinated or that i should wear a mask in an indoor setting. well, that might be fine for you because you have confidence that you're not going to get seriously ill, which quite frankly hospitals are full of people who made that mistake.
and so are graveyards full of people that have made that mistake. >> an important message there from there anthony fauci. cnn as only cnn can has correspondents and resources the right around the globe to bring you the very latest. we'll hear about the biden administration's plan from washington there, and we've got live reports ahead from london, berlin, tokyo as well as jerusalem. so stay with us for that. but first, we are learning president biden was in close contact with a staffer who has tested positive for covid. mr. biden tested negative on monday and will receive another test on wednesday. he plans to address the nation later today on the pandemic. cnn's jeff zeleny reports. >> reporter: president biden is scheduled to address the nation tuesday afternoon from the white house, specifically talking again about the omicron variant which has now overtaken delta and other strains as the most dominant variant of covid-19 in the u.s. now, the president is not going to be delivering a, quote,
lockdown speech in the words of white house press secretary jen psaki, but rather talking about the vast differences between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. saying it's not like 2020 when there were shutdowns and the things of the like because of vaccinations. but there is a strain on the hospital system. there is a strain on the health care system largely because of the unvaccinated. president biden trying to get ahead of this, trying to really point out the administration is on top of it. but the reality is this is raging out of control, and the next few weeks, perhaps even longer than that, will be a dire situation, particularly for the unvaccinated. now, the white house has been struggling to get adequate testing here in the u.s. that has been a key problem or shortcoming. we are told the president will be addressing testing as well in that speech from the white house, but certainly officials here are alarmed at the spread of omicron and that's why the president addressing the nation tuesday here at the white house.
jeff zeleny, cnn, the white house. washington and new york state surging cases is prompting them to ask the federal government to increase the defense production act to increase the supply of test kits. the state plans to distribute millions of masks for people to wear. the governor's office says nearly 24,000 cases were reported yesterday across the state. that is up more than 8900 a week ago. new york city mayor elect says more people need to get vaccinated to really help curb the spread. have a listen. >> many people are in lines. they have determined to just do testing over and over again instead of doing the right thing for fellow new yorkers, and that is to get vaccinated. we have over 2 million new yorkers who have yet to take the booster shot. and so the goal is to really be aggressive, make it accessible. the booster shots as well as the vaccinations so that we can get people protected in the right
way. >> well, meanwhile, the pentagon says the u.s. military is now helping out with covid relief efforts. on monday the defense department announced military teams will be heading to indiana, wisconsin, to help staff hard hit hospitals there. military crews are already on the ground in five states. some areas have deployed the national guard to help with testing as well as vaccinations. and the national hockey league plans to pause its season until after christmas due to the rising covid cases. two games set for tuesday still on as of now. otherwise no more games until next monday. the league is also discussing whether it's safe for players to travel to the beijing winter olympics in february, of course. now, outside of the united states, omicron is prompting a wave of new restrictions and closures across europe. london is cancelling its new year's eve party in trafalgar square. infections are at record levels and people's health must be protected, he says.
the uk reported more than 91,000 new infections on monday, second highest total during the pandemic. more than 8,000 of those are confirmed to be the omicron variant. and next week germany plans to limit private gatherings to people ten people who are fully vaccinated or recently recovered from covid. and the european commission has authorized a covid vaccine for use right across the block. let's get more on the strands. fred pleitgen is in berlin. the prime minister we heard yesterday basically not announcing any new measures. he did say they were looking at the data, reviewing the data hour by hour were his words. given the surge of cases we pointed to, nada, is he under pressure to consider a plan c here? >> reporter: absolutely, isa. the numbers really do speak for themselves, the second highest daily total we saw. yesterday really bringing into focus the pressure the
government is under to tackle the spread of the omicron variant. and over the weekend the alarm bells were rung by the health experts. the government's own scientific advisers warning if action isn't taken in the next few weeks, england could see something like 3,000 daily health admissions. the head himself warning the health authority is on a war footing. with the surge in cases, the omicron variant and projections for hospital admissions, there is a real sense of concern there. but as you mentioned, we expected to hear further restrictions yesterday from the prime minister after that cabinet meeting at downing street. so far the government has said that it will stick to its plan b measures, and that includes wearing face masks in indoor settings such as public transport and shops as well as encouraging people to work from home. and, of course, that covid at places like cinemas and night clubs. we could be looking at further
restrictions. and as we heard from the prime minister yesterday, they are not ruling out the potential for those tougher measures and indeed a lockdown. take a listen. >> we agree that we should keep the data from now on under constant review, keep following it hour by hour. and unfortunately, i must say to people we will have to reserve the possibility of taking further action to protect the public and to protect public health, to protect rnhs, and we will not hesitate to take that action. >> reporter: and really protecting the nhs, national health services. we did see the nhs come under overwhelming pressure last winter. we have seen a significant boost in the jab, announcing new data showing nearly 29 million people have now received that third dose. so there is some hope there,
but, of course, people will be waiting to hear whether or not there will be new restrictions over christmas. isa? >> indeed, do stay with us. i want to bring in fred. there is reluctance you are reporting to vaccines in germany. we have a new vaccine, a shot approved by eu regulators. do you think this will further persuade the unvaccinate to get boosted, get a vaccine >> reporter: they hope so. under the new chancellor olaf scholz and one of the reknowned experts in the country, they say they are going to get tough on unvaccinated people as well. they have already done that by tightening restrictions for unvaccinated people. they are also saying, and this is very important right now in this country, that booster shots are extremely important for people, but they also understand that they need to come to terms with the omicron variant before it actually really takes hold here in this country. it was quite interesting. i was listening to the health minister this entire week.
and he was saying he's getting a lot of data from the united kingdom and that is informing the authorities here in germany. that is one of the reasons why they are taking these proactive measures, to limit public gatherings, especially around new year's eve, essentially making larger new year's eve celebrations impossible. they also, by the way, put a ban on fireworks for new year's eve to make sure that there's not too many people getting together and tell brating there. they are also saying they do need to take these proactive measures, which means a lot of booster shots. but it also means, this is one of the things we saw with a lot of interest, is they are calling on hospital and other critical infrastructure as they call it, to get ready for a massive wave of infections and to check whether or not they have merge s -- emergency plans in place in case their own staff get infected by the omicron variant. they are encouraging people to get vaccinated, get boostered. they are making it difficult for unvaccinated people. at the same time putting in
place proactive measures because they understand the omicron variant is going to take hold in germany fairly soon, isa. >> indeed, take hold in germany and much of europe as the rest of the world as we have been painting out this morning here on the show. fred pleitgen for us in berlin. and nada in london. thank you. all the major wall street industries dropping more than a%. you can seem from the dow to the nasdaq and s&p down across the board. the dow at its worst point down 700 points due to the stalled build back better plan. we'll have a look at what it can expect coming into today. look at that. what a difference a day makes. we're seeing green, upward trend. european markets as you can see also trending higher. ftse 100 fairing the best up 1%. commodity stocks were leading the gains, fears omicron variant
are still per sis at the point. shanghai flat, nikkei up 2%. meanwhile, moody's analytics seems likely to downgrade its u.s. economic forecast in the coming days. moody's currently predicts growth of 4.4%, but indicates the outlook could drop by as much as one percentage point. mark zandi telling cnn it is not inconsequential, citing the one-two punch of the pandemic and biden's major spending bill. the cornerstone of the domestic agenda remains on life support due to one hold out. can democrats salvage the build back better? and the jury deliberating in former police officer charged with killing and shooting daunte wright. emotional closing arguments next. >> members of the jury, the defendant told you her sons will
now, the jury in the sex trafficking trial of ghislaine maxwell will resume deliberations in a few hours from now. in closing arguments on monday, the prosecution focused on maxwell's relationship with jeffrey epstein and is claimed she manipulated vulnerable girls for sexual abuse. the defense maintained her relationship was not criminal and attacked the women who testified about the abuse. maxwell has pleaded not guilty. she faces up to 70 years in prison if convicted on all counts. now, jurors are also deliberating in the trial of kim potter, the former minnesota police officer charged in the april shooting death of daunte wright. emotional closing arguments took place on monday and cnn's adrienne broadus has this for you. >> this was a colossal screw up, a blunder of epic proportions.
>> reporter: friday is christmas eve and erin aldridge starting the prosecution's closing argument with the reminder. >> the defendant told you her sons will be home for the holidays. daunte wright's parents katy and aubrey wright, will have an empty seat at their table this holiday season. because the defendant shot and killed him. >> reporter: aldridge argued 20-year-old daunte wright died at the hands of a 26-year police veteran. she said former officer kim potter was supposed to practice ful pulling out her taser every day she was on the job. and she pointed to potter's own words after the shooting. >> i grabbed the wrong gun! >> it was precisely the thing she had been warned about for years, and she was trained to prevent it. it was irreversible, and it was fatal. >> reporter: according to the
prosecution, this shows recklessness or culpable negligence. potter is charged with first and second degree manslaughter. and has pleaded not guilty. >> now, the defense may refer to this as an unfortunate mistake or a tragic accident, or that because the defendant didn't know or didn't realize that she had a gun in her hand, that this is somehow an accident and not a crime. that is simply not the case. it's just plain wrong. >> taser, taser, taser! >> reporter: but that is precisely what the defense argued during their closing statement. >> everybody makes mistakes. nobody's perfect, ladies and gentlemen. and this lady here made a mistake and, my gosh, a mistake is not a crime. how could you recklessly handle it if you don't know you have it? >> reporter: defense attorney
earl grey argued under the law potter had a right to use deadly force during the incident since daunte wright tried to flee the scene. >> tragically, but she didn't know she had a gun either. and then he said, you shot me. and being alone, what does he do, stand there and say, help me out? he takes off. and you see the video. he goes like a jet. >> reporter: potter testified in her own defense friday. >> we were struggling, we were trying to keep him from driving away. it just, it just went chaotic. and then i remember yelling taser, taser, taser. >> did they prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she caused this death? no. daunte wright caused his own
death unfortunately. >> reporter: in their rebuttal, the prosecution called the defense's argument stunning and said there is no evidence deadly force was necessary, including potter's own belief she was pulling her taser instead of her gun. >> her conduct created a risk that she would use the wrong weapon. her conduct in going to her gun holster, drawing her gun and pointing it and pulling the trigger. >> reporter: and members of the jury will be able to touch and feel the gun potter used to shoot and kill daunte wright. they will also have access to the taser. it's an opportunity to compare and contrast the two weapons. they also have a laptop containing the body camera video. that laptop, the internet on it, has been disabled. adrienne broadus, cnn, minneapolis. >> thanks, adrienne.
the entrepreneur was accused of lying about her blood testing start up company theranos. the trial lasted nearly four months. but the jury hearing from a wide range of witnesses. holmes is charged with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. she pleaded nlot guilty. now, there are two charges from chris noth. he denies the charges insisting it was consensual. peloton has stopped airing an ad that went viral last week. the spin-off from "sex in the city" said they were deeply sorry about the allegations and applaud the women for coming forward. now weather and for travelers and people hoping for snow during the holidays, cnn's tyler moore is at the weather center with the latest forecast. and, tyler, what can we expect
in the coming days as so many of our views begin really their holiday travel here? >> yeah, so, isa, you know, when the tree tops glisten with snow, it really gives you the christmas feel. but it's not so great to deal with when you're traveling for the holidays. good news is that for the majority of the country, over the next few days the weather is fairly tame. i can't say the same, though, for the west coast. there is another area of low pressure coming ashore. what this is going to do is cause snowfall to pile up very quickly as well as rainfall, too. in fact, across the sierra nevadas, there are some places that could see up to 8 feet of snowfall through sunday. that's why we have winter weather alerts out for this region. what's happening here is that as this area of low pressure comes ashore, isa, it's causing another atmospheric river to set up. an atmospheric river is a wide swath of moisture coming in off the pacific and it makes
landfall basically across the west coast. when it does so, it creates a lot lot of rainfall and sparks snowfall in elevations out west. which is what we're going to see. we've seen multiple atmospheric rivers over the last month or so. a recent atmospheric river led to the sierra nevada seeing its snow pack increase from 19% to 98% in a matter of just seven days. that's how quickly things can escalate with these atmospheric rivers. you can see as this area of low pressure does come ashore, we'll see snowfall pile up not only across the sierra nevada, but all the way up to the pacific northwest, intra-mountain west, northern rockies and central rockies, too. pretty much the west coast, the mountainous regions will be seeing a white christmas. across the coast line, we'll see about 3 to 6 inches of rainfall in some areas. as you can see with the rainfall
and snowfall accumulation map, all the west coast will be picking up resip tags in the next week or so. this is great news because the added rainfall and the added snow pack, isa, is helping with the ongoing drought across the west coast of the u.s., and that drought, it is fierce. so we need all the precipitation we can get. >> indeed. great to see you. thanks very much, tyler. now, president joe biden is getting tested for covid after being in contact with someone who tested positive. coming up, why the white house isn't in quarantine. new zealand rethinking its strategy. what this means for foreign travelers just ahead. it's our holiday savings event on the sleep number 360 smart bed. what if i sleep hot? ...or cold? no problem, the sleep number 360 smart bed is temperature balancing so you both sleep just right. and it senses your movements and automatically adjusts to keep you both effortlessly comfortable. so, you can really promise better sleep? yes! you'll know exactly how well you slept, night after night.
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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. the european commission has authorized the novavax covid vaccine making it the first protein vaccine available in the eu. this will be the fifth vaccine available for use across the blok. the -- bloc. the u.s. is seeing an increase in omicron variant in 38 states. new cases are omicron, but the delta still accounts for most cases overall. we are tracking developments this hour at the white house after a staff member who is a close contact of president joe biden tested positive for covid-19. cnn's nikki carvajal has more from washington. >> reporter: president biden flew on air force one with this
mid-level staffer on friday before they tested positive for covid on monday. that is according to the white house. president biden has since tested negative via a pcr test and will test again on wednesday. in the meantime, the white house says biden will continue with his schedule as normal. besides what they admit was a close contact exposure. press secretary jen psaki pointed to cdc guidelines that people who are fully vaccinated don't have to quarantine after an exposure like this. anybody who is around the president has to test negative for covid daily, and the white house says this staffer tested negative on friday. but they started feeling symptomatic on sunday. psaki was asked before this announcement was made about a possible outbreak at the white house. here's what she had to say. >> we expect there to be breakthrough cases across the country, right. and certainly in the federal government. and the most important thing to note for you and for others is
that 99% or more at this point of the white house staff is vaccinated. boosters are strongly recommended and distributed. we have a very thorough process here that people abide by who are going to have close contact with the president and even beyond that. and those protocols go above and beyond cdc guidelines. >> reporter: psaki also said the white house does not plan to change its covid protocols at this point. at the white house, nikki carvajal, cnn. they warn people may need to scrap their plans. they are warning it is better to cancel an event than to cancel a life. have a listen. >> all of us want to spend time with friends and family. all of us want to get back to normal. the fastest way to do this is
for all of us, leaders and individuals, to make the difficult decisions that must be made to protect ourselves and others. >> well, whether it's omicron or delta infections are soaring in many countries, israel is among those taking action, adding the u.s. and several other countries to its red no-fly list. meanwhile omicron has new zealand pushing back plans for a phased border reopening. it was set to ease restrictions next monday. that is now on hold until at least the end of february. this as australia's most populous state has 3,000 in effects as scott morrison wants to avoid restrictions ahead of christmas. we are covering the story from right around the worm. selina wang is in tokyo. first we go to jerusalem. the restrictions are coming at a time when so many of us really long to be with our loved ones.
how is it being received there? >> reporter: that's right, isa. from 5:00 p.m. eastern time today, that's midnight local time the united states, canada, germany and other countries will be added to israel's seemingly ever expanding no-fly list. those returning will have to undergo seven days of quarantine. i should say there are still some people determined to get away. you may see a little spike of people trying to leave the country to go visit friends or family in the united states and elsewhere before that comes into force. likewise people trying to return in order to do those seven days of quarantine. meanwhile ministers were meeting in jerusalem, senior ministers were meeting to discuss new restrictions within israel, potentially putting more limits on gatherings both indoors and outdoors. there is also talk of ending free antigen tests for children that aren't vaccinated. those discussions are continuing. and, of course, at the same time
we are seeing a spike in the number of daily covid cases in israel. the prime minister already said the fifth wave is here. we've seen the cases rising. we've seen them rise above 1300 monday. this is the highest level in two months. we are seeing the arco efficient, the people that suffer is likely to infect. that has been climbing steadily as well. it is 1.28, which is its highest level since august. just 175 confirmed cases and 830 suspected ones. that is the reason they are adding more countries to the no-fly list. the omicron is from people bringing it into the country from overseas. >> do stay with us. i want to bring in selina. new south wales has taken quite a turn. what is being done to slow the spread of the virus? >> reporter: hi, isa, that's right.
in australia case numbers are surging. in new south wales they are being driven by the super spreader events like pubs and night clubs. in queensland, cases are doubling every two days. but the prime minister scott morrison says they are not returning to lockdowns. they are not returning to what he called, quote, shutting down people's lives. he said people need to learn how to live with covid-19 with, quote, common sense and responsibility. now, for nearly two years australia has avoided the worst of the pandemic because of the strict border restrictions as well as long lockdowns. now the prime minister is saying they need to move past this approach of a heavy-handed approach from the government, he said. meanwhile in new zealand, the country is delaying this phased border reopening plan to february. and after being shut for nearly two years, it was expected that it would finally start this plan in january. now those plans being put back. take a listen to what the country's covid-19 minister had to say. >> all evidence so far points to
omicron being the most transmissible variant yet. and public health advice suggests that every case coming in through our border into our managed isolation facilities will be the omicron variant. our immediate job right now must be to slow it down, to delay it from entering the new zealand community for as long as we possibly can. >> reporter: and covid-19 is disrupting the opening plans, the omicron variant in the pacific region, chinese authorities are doubling down on its zero covid strategy. they are mass testing its nearly 13 million residents, reimposing travel restrictions. the stakes there are high, isa. >> indeed. selina wang, thank you so much, and elliott in jerusalem. thank you. now, the former u.s. president has filed a lawsuit seeking to block an investigation into his company. we have the details just ahead.
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the president and i are vaccined. did you get the booster? >> yes. >> i got it, too. >> don't, don't, don't -- it's a very tiny group over there. >> former u.s. president donald trump there receiving i think we can say unexpected reaction from visitors at an event with bill o'reilly. he rarely discussed his vaccination status after being booed about the booster shot. the partisan gap is wide. according to recent poll by the foundation, 30% of republicans said they would get the booster compared to 70% of democrats. we are following significant developments in two legal cases involving former president trump. manhattan's incoming district attorney said he would focus his
attention on investigating trump's business practices which has been a years long focus of the d.a.'s office there. his comments coming as trump and the trump organization file a lawsuit accusing the new york attorney general of misconduct. cnn's paula reid has the details for you. >> reporter: this lawsuit is asking a federal court to block the long-running investigation by new york state attorney general letitia james into the trump organization. now, for roughly two years, her office has been conducting a civil investigation into the trump organization, looking at whether it falsely represented the value of its assets to obtain better loan terms, better insurance rates, and to pay lower taxes. that investigation mirrors an ongoing criminal probe by the manhattan district attorney's office that has already resulted in criminal charges against the trump organization and one of its executives. now, what's interesting about the timing, this lawsuit is that it comes as james is seeking to depose the former president under oath next month.
mr. trump and his attorneys have long argued james is politically motivated and allege she has violated trump's constitutional rights and abused her office, they say, to target trump and to further her own political career. now, in a statement, james responded saying, to be clear, neither trump nor the trump organization get to dictate if and where they will answer for their actions. our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law, not even someone with the name trump. while legal experts say this lawsuit is unlikely to succeed, james' previous statements including her campaign promise to target trump and other statements she's made are not really focusing on him, those could come back to haunt her if she files a lawsuit or any other charges against the former president. those statements could be used as a basis to challenge any action she actually takes against the former president. paula reid, cnn, washington.
now, the house committee investigating the january 6 attack on the u.s. capitol is for the first time asking a current lawmaker to voluntarily sit down for an interview. republican representative scott perry has not yet been subpoenaed. he is suspected of helping trump and n his efforts to undermine the election. the letter requesting perry's testimony underscores just how the panel is zeroing in on trump's closest allies in congress. and democrats are facing a long, difficult winter with more turmoil expected in the coming year. one new poll shows president joe biden's approval rating slipping to 41%. but cnn's poll puts it more stable, 45%. most say they do not approve of his job performance. the latest numbers come as democrats scramble to push through the president's massive build back better plan. despite senate joe manchin foilg their efforts. cnn's phil mattingly has more
for you. >> this is a no on the legislation. >> reporter: the seven words that shook washington and put biden's domestic effort on life support. senator joe manchin, the west virginia democrat and hold out on biden's $1.75 trillion economic and climate package -- >> i have a problem. >> reporter: making it clear on monday his stunning announcement is firm and deep rooted. >> we're in a 50/50 senate. you all are approaching legislation as if you have 55 or 60 senators that are democrats. and you can do whatever you want. >> reporter: and now in a war of words with biden's team after white house press secretary jen psaki released a scathing statement calling it a breach to his commitments to the president. manchin responding with this. >> the staff put some things out that were absolutely in excusable. they know what it is, and that's it. >> reporter: the white house attempting to take down the temperature. >> he considers senator manchin a longtime friend, and our focus is on moving forward and getting
this done. >> reporter: as democrats seek a pathway to bring things back on track, senate majority leader chuck schumer pledging to vote on the bill. in a letter to colleagues and, quote, keep voting on it until we get something done. as the white house considers ways to pare back the proposal to keep it alive. >> he's going to work like hill to get it done. >> reporter: for biden, a devastating 24 hours with large-scale repercussions. goldman sachs moving immediately, slashing its growth forecast for the u.s. economy in the wake of manchin's pronouncement and biden's coveted policy initiatives like pre-k and home care subsidies, the largest combatting climate change, and expansion of tax credit, all at serious risk. >> our focus and objective is moving forward. >> reporter: setting the stajkovstage for a crushing reality and blow back from progressives.
>> what senator manchin did was i an egregious breach. >> reporter: senate democratic leaders trying to figure out what the next steps are, how to reconfigure the proposal to have a shot at 50 votes including senator manchin's votes. to some degree it's not just a policy issue at this point. it's a personal issue. that's been very clear over the course of the last 24 hours. as one senate democrat told me when i asked what the next steps are, take a breath. phil mattingly, cnn, the white house. still to come right here on the show, a christian aid group said it was help from god, not a ransom payment that led a dozen kid snapped missionaries freed in haiti. we have the details for you just ahead. ...and dry, cracked skin. new gold b bond advanced healing ointment. restore healthy skin, with no sticky feeling. gogold bond. champion your skin. [♪] powerful skincare ingredients come dermatologist-recommemende,
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after a night like this, crest has you covered. crest, the official toothpaste of santa. follow us @crest to celebrate the 12 days of crest smiles. now, we are learning details about what captivity looked like for 17 missionaries kidnapped in haiti more than two months ago. christian aid ministries said the group was fed but still was often hungry and spent much of the time praying.
stefano has more. >> reporter: ransom was paid to help secure the release of 17 north american missionaries that had been kidnapped more than two months ago in haiti. that is according to a press conference that the ohio-based group gave on monday. and the group said the decision came after excruciating hours. >> as you might expect, the taking of our workers, including women and children, pushed us to our knees as we sought god's direction. recognizing the lives at stake and having a desire for a non-violent resolution, we grappled for many hours over the proper course of action. many intense hours. >> reporter: and in that news conference, the group also claimed that the hostages had escaped after many days of waiting, and no action on part of the kidnappers. now, haitian authorities have not yet confirmed that series of
events describing the escape, and cnn has asked haitian authorities for further information about the circumstances around the hostages returning home. ransom kidnapping is a lucrative business for criminal groups in haiti, such as the one that kidnapped the missionaries. in the year so far, more than 900 ransom kidnappings have been reported, although experts believe the number might be even higher because not all the kidnappings are reported to the authorities. for cnn, this is stefano, bogota. >> thank you. the airplane manufacturers are calling on the biden administration to delay the rollout of 5g cell service. warning it could cause interference that could impact aviation safety. they want the white house to limit 5g transmission rollout
near airports scheduled for january 5th to be exact. now, procter & gamble says dry shampoos including pan teen, herbal spice, said the pbga is not enough to cause cancer. a puppy named commander was spotted playing on the south lawn on monday. the german shepherd was a birthday gift to the president from his brother. the bidens' beloved champ died at the age of 13. now, magic is in the air, harry potter fans.
hbo maximum, parent of warner media, tropica media, dropped the trailer for hogwarts. have a look. >> when things get really dark and times are really hard, there's something about harry potter that makes life richer. >> it's a strong bond we'll always have. we're family. we will always be part of each other's life. >> quite a teaser there. the original trio some of the stars featured in the upcoming special which celebrates 20 years since the first potter film was released. boy, do i feel old. the special is set to premiere january 1st on hbo max. and that does it from us all here on "cnn newsroom." i'm isa soares in london. our coverage of the omicron variant takeover continues on "early start" with christine romans and laura jarrett. i shall see you tomorrow. have a wonderful day.
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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 good morning, everyone. it's tuesday, december 21st. the first day of winter. 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. that's right, it is the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. it will be the longest night of the year. summer is around the corner. breaking this morning, president biden set to reveal a new plan to stop the spread of covid. the key to that plan,