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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  December 22, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PST

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hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. you're watching "cnn newsroom," and i'm rosemary church. just ahead, israel announces new covid vaccine recommendations amid global omicron surges. how many doses and who's eligible? we'll explain in just a moment. u.s. president joe biden is vowing to get something done when it comes to his signature social spending bill. how he and democrats plan to get it back on track. plus how some missionaries
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in colombia are trying to help those in need this holiday season. ♪ >> announcer: live from cnn center, this is "cnn newsroom" with rosemary church. good to have you with us. well, the world health organization warns a storm is coming to europe where the omicron variant is partly to blame for more than 2.7 million new covid cases in just the past week. france and spain have broken new daily records, and germany, portugal, and scotland are bringing back covid restrictions. israel is now the first country to offer a fourth vaccine dose. medical workers, people over 60, and those with compromised immune systems will be eligible. meanwhile, u.s. president joe biden is laying out his strategy to fight surging covid cases in the u.s. due to the omicron
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variant. he says fully vaccinated americans can go ahead with their holiday plans, but he's also planning to make half a billion free at-home test kits available starting next month. more now from cnn's jeff zeleny. >> let me give it to you straight. omicron is serious, potentially deadly business for unvaccinated people. >> reporter: president biden issuing a stark new warning four days before christmas as the administration braces for a staggering surge in covid cases. >> let me say again and again and again and again, please get vaccinated. >> reporter: the president drawing a sharp line between the vaccinated and boosted and the unvaccinated, making yet another plea for americans to take seriously the omicron variant that's suddenly a majority of new u.s. cases. >> i know you're tired. i really mean this. and i know you're frustrated. we all want this to be over.
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but we're still in it, and this is a critical moment. >> reporter: the president's plan calls for addressing a significant deficit in testing with 500 million rapid covid tests to be sent to the homes of americans who request them. preparing 1,000 military service members to deploy to overburdened hospitals. new federal testing sites starting in new york city. on the testing front, it's an about-face for the white house, with press secretary jen psaki dismissive of sending tests to people's homes just two weeks ago. >> should we just send one to every american? >> maybe. >> then what happens if every american has one test? how much does that cost, and then what happens after that? >> reporter: when we asked psaki about that moment, she said this. >> should i have included that additional context again in that answer? yes. going back, i wish i would have done that. >> reporter: the initiative will not roll out until january, leaving the president to defend the timing. >> it's not a failure, but an alarm going off.
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i don't think anybody anticipated that this was going to be as rapidly spreading as it did. >> reporter: the white house also revealing that a staffer who spent 30 minutes friday with the president on air force one tested positive for coronavirus. the president tested negative on monday and will test again on wednesday. >> i spent several hours with him this morning, and he is feeling great. >> reporter: president biden focusing on vaccines but also going hard after the disinformation surrounding vaccines, perhaps in stronger language than we've ever heard him say before, going after the companies that push this. but also then turning to former president donald trump, pointing out that he has had the booster, and he said that's one thing that we agree on. jeff zeleny, cnn, the white house. and as countries around the world race to administer third doses of covid vaccines, israel is now the first to announce plans for a fourth. the additional shot comes as the
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country braces for another wave of coronavirus infections. and for more on this, we want to bring in journalist elliott gotkine, who joins us live from jerusalem. so why has israel decided a fourth shot is needed at this time despite other experts suggesting it may be premature? >> rosemary, i don't think israel will mind going out on a limb in terms of being the first to administer a fourth dose. it pretty much did so when it first introduced booster shots back in the summer. many experts in other countries were saying, no, it wasn't necessary. so i think israel won't worry about that. i think at the same time, it just wants to do everything possible to try to mitigate this fifth covid wave, which is now already here in israel. and so this was the panel of coronavirus experts last night recommending this fourth dose for medical workers, for over 60s, people with suppressed immune systems. at the same time, it recommended shrinking the time gap between people taking their second
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vaccination shot and their third. prime minister naftali bennett, with regards to the fourth dose, saying that this was wonderful news. do not waste time. go and get vaccinated. and this is part of a battery of measures that israel is introducing to try to reduce the spread of the omicron variant. of course we've been talking the last few days about the u.s., canada, and other countries being added to its red no-fly list. that came into effect last night. israelis returning to the country from those countries will have to undergo seven days of quarantine. it's also extending the use of the so-called green pass for people to prove that they've been vaccinated or have recovered from covid to get them access to certain places. more restrictions, especially in shopping malls, were recommended last night as well. and they are also getting half of public sector workers from sunday will be asked to work from home. the private sector is being encouraged to do so as well. i think israel accepts it can't
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stop this fifth wave from spreading. it knows cases are going to spike and they have already feel spiking. what it does feel it can do is try to slow that spread and do everything possible to reduce its impact. >> we'll watch to see if other countries do the same. elliott gotkine, joining us live from jerusalem, many thanks. let's talk more about this with dr. jorge rodriguez, a board certified internal medicine specialist. he joins me now from los angeles. thank you, doctor, for all that you do and for talking with us. >> thank you, rosemary. always my pleasure. >> wonderful. so we are seeing very long lines of people in new york and elsewhere waiting in the cold for hours to get a covid test so they can spend the holidays with vulnerable family members. and in response, president biden says he will send americans covid testing kits and ramp up testing sites. but of course none of this is going to happen in the next few days. so what should people do if they can't get tested in time?
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what's your best advice for the holidays? >> well, my best advice is hopefully they have already been vaccinated. that trumps everything, and i don't necessarily want to use that word. but, you know, if you're not vaccinated and you don't have any symptoms, then, you know, it might be safe. but the truth is there are many asymptomatic cases. so i would just try to tough out those lines if possible so that you can reassure yourself and those that you love, especially if there are elderly people in your family, that you are as safe as possible. >> and, doctor, israel is now recommending a fourth vaccine dose for people 60 years and older as well as medical workers, making it, of course, the first country to offer a fourth shot. is this what needs to happen elsewhere, for that vulnerable age group and health workers? >> well, i think they might be jumping the gun a little bit even though israel has led the way in many of the things that we are currently doing.
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i don't think there's any conclusive information right now that says that an immune response when you do what i'm calling a complete vaccination, not just a booster because i think now complete vaccinations are three vaccines of an mrna type of vaccine. so we don't really know how long that is going to last. so i know they're being awfully cautious, but i think they may be jumping the gun a little bit. and people that are triple-vaccinated, i think should be very comfortable that they are protected against serious illness. >> so, doctor, i do have to ask what's going to happen to the unvaccinated who haven't even received one shot if most of the population ends up having a third, perhaps later on even a fourth shot. >> well, what is bound to happen to them eventually, physically, is that they are more likely than anyone to come down with covid. and i don't know how many times we can say that and how many
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times we can hammer that point home. eventually they are kind of causing themselves to get sick, at best getting sick. so that's what's going to happen. the virus will land on the people that have not been vaccinated. >> yeah, and in the u.s., it's that recalcitrant 30% or so. so as you say, we can keep telling people that this is a good idea, but they're digging their heels in. so we all are learning as we go along, of course, including doctors and scientists. and now dr. anthony fauci says they are considering shortening that isolation and quarantine period. what is the science behind that, and is it a good idea, particularly for those of us with three shots of the vaccine? >> well, i think that once we know definitively when someone who is infected is contagious, then we can narrow it down, that window. there's a lot of evidence -- there is evidence that says that
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probably the window of infectivity is somewhere between four to five days after you contract and start having symptoms. so to be very cautious, they've always said ten days since the initial initiation of symptoms and 24 hours without a fever. but now that we know more, that may be judiciously shortened because after all, you want people to be able to be with others. you want people to be able to go to work. so we just need all the data to be solidified. >> yeah. we still haven't got enough of that data for anything really, have we? and of course the fda could soon authorize the use of the pfizer covid pill as an early treatment. but even if this happens soon, supplies of that pill are very low at this time. so how much hope do you have for these pills turning the pandemic around in conjunction, of course, with the vaccines? >> well, i don't have hope that they are going to turn the pandemic around.
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the only thing that will turn the pandemic around are people getting the resolve to realize that they are the ones that control the destiny of this pandemic. and we do that by using the tools we have at hand to prevent the spread, which is vaccination and distancing. those pills are for people that have already acquired the disease so that they do not evolve into something very serious. eventually it may become like some of the flu pills that you can take within 24 to 48 hours of acquiring it and then it will minimize the symptoms. all of these together, they're all sort of arrows in our quiver if you will, that will help us fight the vaccine. but the only thing that will end this pandemic is international resolve to start vaccinating everyone in the world, which seems like a huge task, almost simultaneously. >> we have the tools. we just have to use them. dr. jorge rodriguez, thank you so much for joining us, and a very merry christmas to you.
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>> likewise. merry christmas. >> thank you. democrats are trying to push ahead with a signature piece of president biden's domestic agenda after a member of their own party essentially blocked it. but there's no consensus on how to move forward. we'll look at that after this short break. stay with us. both? visibly diminish wrinkled skin in... crepe corrector lotion... only from gold bond. i'm jonathan lawson here to tell you about life insurance through the colonial penn program. if you're age 50 to 85, and looking to buy life insurance on a fixed budget, remember the three ps. what are the three ps? the three ps of life insurance on a fixed budget are price, price, and price. a price you can afford, a price that can't increase, and a price that fits your budget. i'm 54, what's my price?
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welcome back, everyone. well, u.s. president joe biden will be focused on the nation's supply chain in the coming hours. he will meet with administration officials and ceos for an update on where things stand right now. but supply chain problems are just one of the big issues plaguing the president. democrats are also struggling to pass a critical piece of his domestic agenda, a sweeping climate and economic bill. joe biden stressed its importance to reporters on tuesday after laying out his plan for fighting the coronavirus pandemic. >> you saw what happened yesterday. all the talk about how my build back better plan was going to
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increase inflation, going to cause these debts. what happened? goldman sachs and others says if we don't pass build back better, we're in trouble because it's going to grow the economy. without it, we're not going to grow. >> just one democratic senator, joe manchin, is standing in the way of the build back better act. but president biden insists they will get something done. cnn's manu raju has the latest. >> reporter: democrats had a private conference call on tuesday night trying to figure out if they could get this agenda back on track after joe manchin effectively derailed it on sunday. it's unclear if they can do just that because there is absolutely no consensus on how to move ahead, particularly because manchin reiterated his concerns to his colleagues, i'm told. he also said he had concerns about inflation. he had geopolitical concerns. he says this bill does not actually show the true nature of its cost. he said it would add to the
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debt. now, democrats pushed back. there was some belief that joe manchin was not accurately portraying how this bill would be paid for. but there was a discussion by manchin that he would be willing to continue to discuss things going forward. so does that lead to a smaller plan, a scaled-back proposal? is that something that even liberals in the house or even the senate could accept, and could they get it all done and to joe biden's desk in a matter of weeks or even months? that remains the big question because midterm election season is heating up, and democrats are on the defensive, trying to keep the house. they're struggling to keep the senate as well, and there are concerns that democrats may go to the voters promising a lot but delivering nothing on this big agenda even as they point to the infrastructure bill, the social safety net expansion. there had been hope from liberals and activists and their voters that they would do something, but they may not be able to get it because of deep divisions between joe manchin and the rest of his party. manu raju, cnn, capitol hill.
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>> i want to bring in political analyst michael genovese. he joins me now from los angeles. great to have you with us. >> thank you. >> so overall, how do you think president biden's address to the nation on the covid pandemic and of course the omicron threat? did he hit all the points needed or did he fall short, do you think? >> well, he had to walk a tightrope between optimism and pessimism. so he had to give two different speeches to two different audiences. on the one hand, one speech was to the vaccinated where he said it's a cautionary tale. it was a warning, but it was also a kind of reassurance that we'll be okay. we'll get out of it. then he was also speaking to the unvaccinated, which was the horror story of his speech. a dark winter is upon us, and things are going to go from bad to worse. you know, it's been the unvaccinated that have caused so
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many of the problems. and as i tell my students all the time, you can't fix stupid. if people aren't going to help themselves, there's very little you can do. and that's where biden is really going to have a problem. he's got to get more and more people both vaccinated and then tested. >> right. of course that's difficult for those who are absolutely outright refusing. so president biden said the lack of testing available to meet the current demand was not a failure on his part, but was this all too reactive and too little, too late coming just days before christmas? >> well, you know, it's hard to anticipate every possible thing that could go wrong. you try to get as much of it right as you can, and as long as you're making that effort, you tend to get through the crisis pretty well. yes, we have a lot of tests out there but not enough. that's because the omicron is so contagious, much more than anything we've faced before. so that was the surprise problem. we weren't quite ready for it,
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but they're focusing on that right now. >> and president biden has a full plate right now, of course, tackling this surge in cases in the midst of this omicron variant while he's trying to recover from senator joe manchin's sudden rejection of his build back better plan, and also dealing with high inflation triggered by the pandemic. and of course all of this giving him very low approval ratings. is he up to the task, do you think? >> well, that's the new question that people are asking. i mean in effect, up to the last few weeks, president biden has lost control of the narrative, the story in people's head. the original narrative was hope, back to normal, we're going to be okay. the new narrative -- and you mentioned it a bit -- is, is he up to the task? is he up to the job? afghanistan pullout went poorly. inflation's back. covid is resurging. can't get things through congress. the irony, of course, is that by most objective standards, most
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things have gone better and gone well, much improved overall, but people are focusing on those negative things, and he hasn't really been able to keep people in the camp that says we're optimistic. we think it will be okay. the irony again is that the perception is things are getting worse outweigh reality. covid fatigue is probably the biggest cause of that. once we get over that, i think he'll be much better off and we'll all be better off. >> he just hasn't had many wins, has he? we mentioned the build back better plan. it appears at this point that joe manchin has said that he will continue talking now. he seems to have come around to a certain extent. but where do you see this going? will they have to pass this in small pieces for small wins, or can this bill be done in one piece? >> yeah, i think there are two routes to success. and i think some of the talking
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heads have been a little melodramatic, the sky is falling. the sky is not falling. there are two good routes for biden for the next few weeks. one is to take the manchin proposal that he gave to president biden a few weeks ago, which is kind of build back better light. maybe that's what they'll have to settle for, half a loaf rather than a whole loaf. biden's a dealmaker. he can do that. the other way to do it is to break up the ball inill into sm pieces. but either route is possible. i think the smart money should go with taking manchin's build back better light and see if you can get that through. >> all right. michael genovese, we'll watch to see what happened in the coming days and weeks. appreciate your analysis. >> thank you, and happy holidays to all the cnn family. >> thank you so much, and the same to you. happy holidays. all right. time for a short break now. just ahead, the world health organization is warning a storm is coming as omicron invades
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europe. we are live in rome. plus how the covid-19 pandemic has impacted the economy of colombia and other latin american countries, leaving people without jobs and homes ahead of the holidays. we'll have the details for you on the other side of the break. ♪ and i'm gonna keep on lovin' you, ♪ ♪ 'cause 's the only thing i wanna do. ♪ turns out everyone does sound tter in the shower. and it tns out the general is a quality iurance company that's been saving people money for nearly 60 ars. ♪ 'cause it's the only thing i wanna do ♪ shaq: (singing in background) can't unhear that. for a great low rate, and nearly 60 years of quality coverage - make the right call and go with the general. one role of a sore throat.
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welcome back to "cnn newsroom." i'm rosemary church. the omicron variant is putting a damper on holiday celebrations across europe. but germany and portugal are waiting until after christmas to enact new limits on public gatherings and sporting events.
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the french government says omicron now represents 1 in every 3 covid cases in paris. france reported nearly 73,000 infections on monday, breaking its one-day record. and the uk is offering more than a billion dollars in financial support to businesses, theaters, and museums hurt by the pandemic. cnn's nada bashir is standing by in london, but we begin with bo ba barbie nadeau in rome. what is the latest on all of this and of course the threat th posed by this new variant? >> reporter: it's very different with each country. you have countries like denmark, which they're sequencing every single positive test, so they've got a greater understanding of it. here in italy, they're not sequencing every test, so the
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number of omicron cases seem low. but there are restrictions everywhere. here in italy as of tomorrow, it's not just indoor face masks. you have to wear face masks in outside spaces as well. portugal is going to be closing bars and cafes after christmas. there are curfews all across europe right now, and there's still open travel. people can travel from country to country in continental europe but even that is going to be called into question as people have to be tested as the holidays go forward. so it's not going to be a great, relaxing christmas like people had hoped by any means, rosemary. >> yes, that is problematic, isn't it? nada, let's go to you in london. now we know that the uk is shortening the required isolation period. what is the latest on that, and of course current infections and hospitalizations as a result of omicron? >> reporter: that's right, rosemary. the isolation period is now
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being shortened from ten to seven days along with two negative tests. this is all part of the government's reassessment of the data that they're getting on the spread of the omicron variant. as we heard from boris johnson, the government is monitoring that situation hour by hour, but really the cases that we're seeing are a cause for concern. yesterday the government confirmed more than 90,000 new coronavirus cases, and of those new cases, more than 15,000 are the omicron variant. so there is some concern there over the spread of the variant. but what people are really questioning now is whether or not there will be new restrictions ahead of christmas. this is what boris johnson had to say yesterday. >> people can go ahead with their christmas plans, but the situation remains finely balanced, and i would urge everyone to exercise caution. >> reporter: boris johnson calling for people to maintain
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caution, to act sensibly during the christmas period. but it seems there won't be any further restrictions put in place ahead of christmas although the government has said it reserves the possibility to implement further measures after the christmas period as they continue to monitor the situation. over the weekend, we heard from the government's scientific advisers warning that hospitals could see a surge in admissions in the new year if urgent action isn't taken. the head of the nhs saying the health service is on a war footing. so there are some concerns there, but the government is also encouraging people to go out and get their booster vaccines. we heard from the chief medical officers across the uk yesterday in an open letter to their health service colleagues, saying that vaccination is the way out of this pandemic. so there is a push there. we've seen a significant uptick in the number of people going out to get their booster jab. almost 30 million people now. so there is some hope there, but at this stage, the question remains whether or not further
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restrictions will be brought into force before the new year. >> we'll watch to see what happens there. nada bashir, many thanks. barbie nadeau, thank you for your updates there. well, covid concerns are likely to keep many players from the national hockey league from competing at the beijing winter olympics. as of now, there's been no official announcement, just multiple reports the nhl and its players association have been discussing the matter. sports commentator bob costas says attending the winter games would be a big gamble for players. take a listen. >> so now you're an nhl player, and the players association that represents them, and you're saying, hey, this isn't the most important thing in the world to us with all due respect. it's in the middle of a pandemic. it's in china for crying out loud. and on top of that, from what we can learn -- and they're always a little bit difficult to pin down whether it comes to what
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the chinese government might do. but what we've been led to believe is if individuals test positive, they may be kept in china for as many as two weeks to quarantine before they're allowed to go home. >> wow. >> you put all that together, and why in the world would the nhl want to send its players to the olympics? >> meanwhile, the nhl season is on hold until after christmas because of covid outbreaks among several teams. the pandemic has devastated colombia's economy. many have lost their jobs, and inflation is also a big concern as prices for basic supplies have surged. stefan pozzebon is in bogota with a look at the crisis there. >> reporter: with about a week until christmas in one of bogota's poorest neighborhoods, missionaries handing out meals to the homeless and everyone who needs it. the numbers they serve have grown steadily since the pandemic hit. before covid, most of the people that would attend were drug a
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addicts but things have changed. right now, there is an equal representation between the people that are addicted to drugs here and the people who lost everything. there are too many -- too many old people here. >> reporter: millions in colombia lost their job as a result of covid-19. while the country is recovering, more than 40% of the population live in poverty. among them are people like edwin, who used to work as a mechanic and now lives on the street. more than a health emergency, covid has taken jobs away, he says. >> the pandemic had a devastating impact for informal workers in particular, who didn't have any social safety net to rely on when the lockdowns were imposed. distressingly, just as more people found themselves in need, prices have shot up across the
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board, from gasoline to food supplies. the price of meat increased almost 30% in 2021 in colombia, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. poultry is up more than 20%. fresh fruits and vegetables, everything that you want for a good christmas meal, is more expensive. as a result, while this likely will not be a locked down christmas, the economic outlook is bleak. colombia's situation is far from unique. inflation hitting the entire region hard. in south america, 2021 has been a year of rising prices and waning meals. according to unicef, 50% of argentinian children under the age of 6 eat less than before covid hit, while in brazil, 19 million people are going hungry according to an independent survey. >> translator: we've never been in a situation as serious as it
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is now. >> reporter: making it hard to finance the sort of large public support projects common in the u.s. and europe. as a result, the immediate future looks just as dreary. the organization of economic cooperation and development expects it will take at least two years to return to pre-covid levels of wealth in latin america. the food charity in bogota has finished their deliveries for today, but the job is far from over. tomorrow somebody else will be hungry. stefano pozzebon, cnn, bogota. covid has hit some of rio de janeiro's poorest neighborhoods particularly hard, but this christmas do dozens of childrene getting a special delivery of holiday joy. santa claus, who is called papa
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noel in brazil, handed out presents to more than one 100 kids in the favela known as city of god on monday. they received toys, clothing and food after a local woman posted pictures of some of the children in need on social media asking for donations. and people responded. great story there. and we'll be right back. i'm jonathanan lawson here to tell you about life insurance through the colonial penn program. if you're age 50 to 85, and looking to buy life insurance on a fixed budget, remember the three ps. what are the three ps? the three ps of life insurance on a fixed budget are price, price, and price. a price you can afford, a price that can't increase, and a price that fits your budget.
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i'm 54, what's my price? you can get coverage for $9.95 a month. i'm 65 and take medications. what's my price? also $9.95 a month. i just turned 80, what's my price? $9.95 a month for you too. if you're age 50 to 85, call now about the #1 most popular whole life insurance plan available through the colonial penn program. it has an affordable rate starting at $9.95 a month. no medical exam, no health questions. your acceptance is guaranteed. and this plan has a guaranteed lifetime rate lock so your rate can never go up for any reason. so call now for free information and you'll also get this free beneficiary planner. and it's yours free just for calling. so call now for free information.
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russian president vladimir putin says moscow has the right to, quote, react harshly to unfriendly steps as the u.s. and nato warn against any further aggression towards ukraine. putin has been demanding security guarantees from the u.s. and nato, including a binding pledge that nato won't expand further east. but he says these demands don't amount to an ultimatum.
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>> translator: is this an ultimatum or not? of course not. we are hoping for constructive and meaningful negotiations with a visible end in result within a specified time frame, which would ensure equal security for all. >> cnn's melissa bell is following developments, and she joins me now live from moscow. good to see you, melissa. so what is the latest on this rising tension between russia and ukraine, and where might all this be going? >> reporter: well, there is this rising tension, the result of course of tens of thousands of troops on the ukrainian border. but of course with that, the rhetoric, the increasingly aggressive rhetoric not just from moscow but also from nato, from the united states. we heard yesterday not just vladimir putin warn in that televised meeting of the defense ministry that although he was looking for dialogue and wanting to avoid bloodshed, that russia
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would not hesitate to use what he called military tactical means should it feel what it believes to be aggressive moves from nato and the united states are continuing along its border and specifically around ukraine. now, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. there is a glimmer of hope perhaps. just a few days ago, as that rhetoric has risen in russia, so too nato and the u.s., we heard in the shape of the secretary-general of the north atlantic treaty organization. we also heard from the u.s. top diplomat. both of them warning of these extremely coordinated sanctions that europeans and americans are seeking to get together at the moment should russia overstep that mark. sanctions that went far beyond anything it had done before and would have a crippling effect on the russian economy and its financial system. even amidst all that there is some hope.
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talks would be on the basis of demands that have been made by moscow, some of which she explained are clearly unacceptable to the west. here is what antony blinken, the american secretary of state, had to say about what russia is demanding. >> one country does not have the right to dictate the policies of another or to tell that country with whom it may associate. >> reporter: now, that is a reference of course to those russian demands that seek to get not only an assurance from nato that it will not seek an eastward expansion but actually will roll back its manpower and weaponry currently in countries like baltic states. clearly both of those demands are unacceptable and yet there will be talks and that is the glimmer of hope i mentioned a moment ago, rosemary. >> absolutely. even so, melissa, how much concern is there across the region with what's going on here? >> reporter: well, there is of course that military buildup. clearly all eyes very much on
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what's happening on either side of the border, russians looking very closely at what's happening in ukraine and what help ukrainians might be getting on the ground. the west looking very clearly at that military buildup. but it could be more subtle than that. there's going to be some reporting coming out on cnn digital from our cyber specialist reporter later today which looks specifically at that, the increasing cyberattacks that we've been seeing over the course of the last few weeks, clearly orchestrated by russia against ukrainian infrastructure targets, things like its police, things like its electricity grid, its utilities. this is a well worn path. you'll remember back in 2014 -- 15 rather, vast swaths of ukraine went dark under attacks against the utility grid. what we're seeing is growing fears within western intelligence agencies that far from just carrying out a very
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brutal land grab immediately, there might be perhaps more subtle means of destabilizing ukraine that could ultimately cause or lead to an excuse for an invasion. so a lot of fears on all sides about what sort of tactics might be used, and they might not be immediately military, rosemary. >> all right. melissa bell joining us live from moscow, many thanks. well, the possibility of a political solution to the conflict in ethiopia remains elusive. tigrayan forces have said they are pulling out of two northern regions to help pave the way for peace. but the ethiopian government rejected that claim, saying the army is clearing those fighters out. the latest now from cnn's larry madowo. >> reporter: any hopes of a cease-fire in the 13-month-long conflict in ethiopia dashed tuesday. calls rejected to come to the
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table and talk. the tigrayan government is saying tigrayan fighters are only pretending to offer this because they're being defeated. that's why they withdrew troops from neighboring regions in the north of ethiopia. the tigrayan fighters want a cease-fire. they want an arms embargo in ethiopia and eritrea. and especially they want that beginning of negotiations, but the ethiopian government does not want that cease-fire, not right now. >> a cease-fire from who is the question. the government has already been engaged in a cease-fire before which has evidently referred to as a sick joke. so the federal government has got an obligation to maintain peace, to ensure territorial integrity, and the operations by the federal defense forces will ensure that territorial integrity will be maintained.
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>> reporter: the ethiopian government still says it is committed to finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the north of the country. but a political solution must be centered on accountability, dialogue, and justice. it says it has offered the tigrayan fighters olive branches in the past that were rejected, and this time the difference is that there has to be a lot more than what they're offering right now. so it still looks like this conflict is not any closer to coming to an end until the ethiopian government and the tigrayan fighters can find a way to come to the table and to dialogue. larry madowo, cnn, nairobi. omicron has some people changing their holiday travel plans, but millions of others are heading out of town. we will look at the number of people expected to fly this week. that's coming up. stay with us. and get back to your rhythm. ♪ the relief you need. the cash you want.
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welcome back, everyone. well, the fast-moving omicron variant is throwing holiday travel plans into question. some people are again postponing trips to see family. but as pete muntean reports,
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millions of others are heading to the airport. >> reporter: you know, so many are facing that dreaded go or no-go discussion, and it seems millions of people are still going. in fact, the tsa just screened 2 million people at airports across the country on monday. that is the fifth day in a row where you've seen numbers higher than 2 million. in fact, friday's number, the highest number we have seen since the monday after thanksgiving. it is clear that so many people still have a lot of confidence in traveling. we've seen long lines from l.a. to boston to atlanta. dr. anthony fauci says that people should weigh the risks. if you're vaccinated and boosted, it should be safe, he says. aaa anticipates a total of 109 million people will travel 50 miles or more between december 23rd and january 3rd, and the tsa just updated its projections, saying 30 million people will travel by air between now and january 3rd with the busiest day being thursday. we will see if this doubt leads
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to any decline in these numbers. airlines say that cancellations did pick up a little bit as the omicron variant began to make headlines. pete muntean, cnn, reagan national airport. of course another important factor in holiday travel plans is the weather. tyler mauldin is here with details on that. lots of americans planning to drive or fly for the holidays. how is the weather looking for the next few days? >> rosemary, the worst weather-related travel impacts will be across the west coast. we have a couple of weather systems that we've been talking about for days now impacting the west coast. it's setting up an atmospheric river, and these atmospheric rivers transport tons of moisture to the west coast, which means that all of this moisture will fall in the form of rainfall and snowfall across the west. we're talking about one to three inches in the low elevations, the valleys, of rainfall. then you start getting up into the mountains. the sierra nevada could actually
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see more than five feet of snowfall. there are some forecasts that indicate isolated areas could see up to eight to ten feet of snowfall all the way through sunday. then you can see up here across the cascades, the intermountain west, the northern rockies, the central rockies, a lot of snowfall here. so both air and ground travel will be impacted because of this system. then we zoom out the image, and you can see a clipper system moving across the northern plains on into the great lakes. that's going to impact travel here as well over the next 24 to 36 hours. then we have one system exiting new england. that too is going to impact travel up there. now, we could see up to, i would say, about three to four inches of snowfall off the great lakes as this system pushes out. but notice how much we could see up here in maine. in maine, it is possible that we could see up to ten inches of snowfall as the system exits the region on this wednesday.
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elsewhere, it's really tranquil but hot over the coming days, especially here across the eastern third of the country. down here across the southeast, records are in jeopardy. all the way through christmas. notice some of us, dallas and houston, will actually be in the low 80s come christmas day. atlanta, you're not going to be spared. atlanta, georgia, is actually going to top out at 71 degrees on christmas day. rosemary. >> all right. many thanks to our tyler mauldin. appreciate it. well, christmas stockings may be missing a classic holiday treat this year as candy canes are in short supply across the u.s. candy makers are facing labor shortages, supply chain snarls and a surge in sugar costs. these challenges are forcing some manufacturers to turn business away while others have been preparing since autumn, running extra shifts to meet demand. and thank you so much for your company. i'm rosemary church. have yourselves a wonderful day. "cnn newsroom" continues now
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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, and just ahead right here on "cnn newsroom." >> always be extra special careful because you're dealing with an unprecedented situation of a virus. >> right now is the moment to really practice those mitigation strategies. >> i think the next two to eight weeks could be a global blizzard. a >> states and health officials prepare for


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