tv Early Start With Christine Romans and Laura Jarrett CNN December 29, 2021 2:00am-2:59am PST
back at the peak. two variants converging for a major setback in the fight against covid. and remembering two american icons. the country is mourning the loss of long time senator harry reid and football coach and broadcaster john madden. >> such a loss this morning. it is december 29, 5:00 a.m. here in new york. thanks so much for getting an early start with us. i'm laura jarrett. hi, paula. >> hi. i'm paula reid in for christine romans.
good to be with you here, laura. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. two variants are reminding us why this virus isn't going away any time soon. the u.s. shattering its record for average daily cases more than doubling in two weeks, thanks to a combination of both delta and omicron. the cdc even adjusting its data now, showing delta still accounts for about 40% of these cases. hospitalizations are not spiking as fast, but experts still have concerns about the weeks ahead. >> there is no question that january will be filled with a lot of short-term challenges. hospital beds, staffing shortages of tests, shortages of almost everything. it's tough to handle this many indications at once. i think we have a good thing in these tests, but there won't be enough in many places to get us through the most trying time. >> now the fda says at-home coronavirus tests may be less sensitive to picking up the omicron variant.
that could send more people out for pcr tests, extending already very long lines. but dr. anthony fauci still says do not pass up the rapid tests. >> the tests are still worthwhile. don't let anybody think that the fda was saying the tests are no longer good. they're saying they're less sensitive now. they never were 100% sensitive. some of the tests have a diminution further of the sensitivity, but they still say the tests are useful and should be used. >> abbott, the company that makes the popular test tells cnn it has not seen a change in the test performance. >> so we are seeing this explosion of cases right now. there is another figure that's troubling. the number of children sick in the hospital with covid is nearing its september peak. and there is about a 50% increase week over week. >> yes, the incidence of children being hospitalized is
much lower than adults, but as a parent with a child in the hospital for any reason, it is such a traumatic event that even though they may be hospitalized, and thank goodness come home, just being in the hospital is absolutely just terrifying. so it's so important to try to minimize that risk by protecting them. >> and by protecting them, he means getting kids that are 5 and older vaccinated. much of the recent surge here is being driven by unvaccinated children, or children who spent holidays with relatives who have not had their shots. one medical expert said not getting your eligible kids vaccinated amounts to parental malpractice. >> it is a game of russian roulette in many ways. although it is not five empty chambers, maybe it's 100,000 empty chambers, but it's nonetheless that game. & it's not a game you want to play. the job of a parent is to put their children in the safest position possible. that's what these vaccines do. hang in there a few weeks.
we're going to get there. the nation's biggest public school system, new york city, plans to open january 3rd despite a city wide surge in cases. schools will have at-home testin tes testing kits for classrooms, and kids will take two tests per day seven days. health experts have different views on that plan. >> schools need to be open. everyone talks about the needs of our kids. their health needs, physical health, mental health, nutrition needs, social needs, academic needs -- schools need to be open. >> i wouldn't do it now in terms of what they're proposing. you've got a screaming level of transmission in the northeast, in new york city and washington, d.c. trying to open schools at this point, it's hard to imagine how things will go well. >> meantime, around 17% of the n.y.p.d.'s uniformed work force called out sick tuesday, a noticeable uptick as covid spreads. ♪
and the "nutcracker," the latest covid casualty, the new york city ballet has canceled the remaining shows of this beloved holiday performance. and the nation has lost a fighter. harry reid, the former amateur boxer turned long-time democratic senate leader, has died at the age of 82, losing a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer. reid spent three decades in congress. he and biden served together 20 years. >> the president calling the nevada democrat a giant of history, saying in a statement overnight, quote, if harry said he would do something, he did it. if he gave you his word, you could bank on it. that's how he got things done for the good of the country for decades. cnn's dana bash has more on the life and the legacy of a scrappy lawmaker from a bygone era. >> reporter: he led democrats in the senate for a decade. harry reid called one of his
best accomplishments the impact he had on presidential history, encouraging barack obama to run. >> i called him in my office and told him he should take a look at it. he was stunned. i was the first one that ever suggested it to him. when he was re-elected, he said, you're the reason i'm here. >> reporter: he spearheaded epic legislative battles like obamacare with the scrappy styled he learned during his impoverished childhood. reid was born, shaped and scarred in search light, nevada, essentially a truck stop in las vegas. he grew up in a shack with no running water where this trailer now sits. he took us there in 2006. his mother did laundry for the local brothels. his dad always looking for work as a miner. both drank heavily. during that 2006 visit to search light, he casually pointed out where his father took his own life at 58 years old. >> this house right here, that
last room was a bedroom. that's where he killed himself. >> reporter: he fought his way out of poverty as a boxer. as a politician, he was never afraid to punch below the belt. he even took on the mob as a young politician in las vegas. a wide variety of adjectives have been written about you. >> some good, some bad. >> reporter: some good, some bad. let me read a few. scrappy, tough, blunt, canny behind the scenes mastermind, ruthless. all those fair? >> well, that's what people think and that's what they think, they're entitled to their opinion. >> reporter: as senate democratic leader, reid was a polarizing figure. republicans argued a lot of congressional gridlock stemmed from his hardball tactics. but he revelled in playing the political bad guy, calling then president george w. bush a loser and a liar, well before politicians used those "l" words. >> i don't really care. i don't want to be somebody i'm not.
>> reporter: during the trump presidency, however, reid changed his tune about bush. >> in hindsight, i wish every day for a george bush again. i think that he and i had our differences, but no one ever questioned his patriotism. there was no question in my mind that george bush would be babe ruth in this league that he's in with donald trump. donald trump wouldn't make the team. >> reporter: in 2012 he used the senate floor to accuse mitt romney of not paying his taxes, even though he had no evidence. >> he's refused to release his tax returns as we know. let him prove that he has paid taxes because he hasn't. no, i don't regret that at all. >> reporter: some people called it mccarthy-ite. >> well, call it whatever they want. >> reporter: years later, reid did ask to meet with romney to make amends. >> shook hands and put stuff behind us. >> reporter: why was it so important for you to tie up that loose end?
>> i try to do that with everybody. >> reporter: reid also inspired fierce loyalty from many of his long time aides as well as fellow senators. not all out of fear, but affection. he often told colleagues he loved them, even in public. >> i love you, john kerry. >> reporter: he had a story book romance with wife landra, his high school sweetheart. the two converted to mormonism together when they married. >> man, it looked so good. >> reporter: that's amazing. >> it is true. >> reporter: in january 2015, reid, a workout addict who ran numerous marathons, had a brutal exercise accident that left him severely bruised and blind in one eye. it cemented his decision to retire. a few years later he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. the effects of chemo made it hard for him to walk. we went to see him in las vegas. >> that's one of my keepsakes from donald trump. >> reporter: never any complaints. >> i'm doing fine. i'm busy.
i work quite hard. >> reporter: reid was an unlikely political leader in today's media age. soft-spoken and gaff prone, but he played the inside game like no one could. >> i didn't make it in life because of my ethnic prowess. i didn't make it because of my good looks. i didn't make it because i'm a genius. i made it because i worked hard. one of the things that i hope that people look back at me and say, if harry reid can make it, i can. >> reporter: former president barack obama also had a close relationship with reid. obama sharing a letter he wrote to the former senate leader before his death. it reads, i wouldn't have been president had it not been for your encouragement and support, and i wouldn't have got most of what i got done without your skill and determination. >> an amazing life. next we have reaction from a reporter who covered harry reid
for years. plus, the death of another american icon this morning, remembering nfl coach and broadcaster john madden. when it comes to autism, finding the right words can be tough. finding understanding doesn't have to be. we can create a kinder, more inclusive world for the millions of people on the autism spectrum. go to autismspeaks.org. okay everyone, our mission is to provide complete balanced nutrition for strength and energy. woo hoo! ensure, complete balanced nutrition with 27 vitamins and minerals.
tributes pouring in this morning for harry reid, the long-time democratic senate leader has died at 82 after a battle with cancer. even across the political aisle, he's being remembered fondly. former speaker boehner writes, we disagreed on many things. sometimes famously. but we were always honest with each other. in the years after we left public service, that honesty became a bond. we covered reed -- reid many times. what can you tell us about having covered him for so long? >> one of the things that stands out about harry reid is how much behind the scenes he was similar to what he was in front of the scenes, which was quiet, self-
> self-effacing. the piece from dana bash was just saying never really concerned with being anyone other than who he was. i remember talking to him about a speech that he gave after trump was elected in which he said he's a bully. he's encouraging the kkk. all sorts of things like that. and last summer when i was talking to him about it, he said to me, it would be hard to challenge the veracity of what i was saying. time has proven me correct in a very quiet way. he's a guy who would say "i love you" to his colleagues in public. when he would get off the phone, he wouldn't say good-bye. he would hang up once he was done with the conversation. >> well, he always played such a crucial role in so many pieces of legislation. the affordable health care act, financial regulation after the great recession. what do you think based on your years of covering him, your
reporting, what do you think is his biggest legacy? >> in many ways it's the obama presidency itself. encouraging obama to run, but then being a crucial partner there through, not just getting the legislation passed at the beginning of the presidency, but being there after the house slit in 2010 to the republicans. there were four more years the senate was in democratic control, and being a real obstacle for republicans to get almost anything through, until you had senate control flip in 2014. and that's why you see barack obama remembering him so warmly. there is this feeling very much in barack obama's mind that his presidency has a lot to do with harry reid and also nancy pelosi. >> isaac, it feels like we lost so many of the great leaders in washington over the last couple years. i think about people like john lewis, and harry reid is the one who started out with modest means, working nights as a
capitol police officer to help pay the bills. we talked about his amateur boxing days. what can today's lawmakers learn from a man like harry reid? >> he was a guy who was always connected to where he came from. even when he was riding around in a motorcade in washington, d.c. and living a much different life. he had his office when he was done in the senate in the belaggio casino. even though he was a former gaming commissioner in nevada, he is a guy who was very different from what you see now in washington in a lot of ways. worked his way through law school at night as a capitol police officer. it's just a very different approach to being in politics that left him with a sense of toughness that you see also in a lot of memorials for him. whether that's from eric holder
or steven vanzant who didn't care about backing off from where he wanted to be on political or legislative positions. >> it's rare to see so many different statements across the political spectrum, essentially all saying the same thing. all right, isaac, thank you so much. great to have you up this morning. >> thank you. and a football icon is also being remembered this morning. john madden, the hall of fame coach turned legendary broadcaster, died unexpectedly at the age of 85. coy wire joins us now from the cnn center. coy, madden was not just a football icon, but a cultural one as well. there is a whole generation of people who know him largely from his video game. >> no doubt, paula. there is no one like john madden. his boisterous style. he brought the game to life no matter if you were a hard core football aficionado or a fan. so many got to enjoy him. not many remember he was a hall of fame coach leading the raiders to a super bowl title in
1977. he never had a losing season in the ten-year career, winning three of every four games he coached. and young fans today as you mentioned, paula, may have only seen him in broadcast games in his famous madden video game series, not even on television. his post-coaching star truly started to soar when he stepped into the tv booth. his catch phrases and love of the telestrator. he would go on to work on all four major networks in his 34 broadcasting career. he began lending his voice to the madden video game in 1998. millions around the world still play it to this day. madden was inducted into the pro football hall of fame in 2006. >> i have never worked a day in my life. i went from player to coach to a broadcaster, and i am the luckiest guy in the world. some of us think maybe we will
be immortal, that we'll live forever. but when you really think about it, we're not going to be. but i say this, and this is overwhelming and mind blowing that through this bust with these guys in that hall, we will be forever. >> nfl commissioner roger goodell paid tribute to madden saying, quote, nobody loved football more than coach. he was football. he was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others. there will never be another john madden. we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the nfl what it is today. paula, when i made it to the nfl, one of the first things i wanted to do was see if i made the madden game. that's what so many people do. he said it was like -- he had a degree in teaching, his love for football meshed with that so well. he was loved by so many and relatable to so many. >> that's how you know you've made it when you made it into
the madden football game. thank you so much for that report on an incredible american life. well, the clock is ticking for the house select committee investigating the attack on the capitol, but the biden white house is now pushing back on some of the panel's requests. we'll tell you why. e. (kate) better? (guy) better. (kate) hey. (kate) and up to $1,000 when you switch. (carolers) ♪better♪ (kate) because everyone deserves better. i lost 26 pounds and i feel incredible. with the new personalpoints program, i answer questions about my goals and the foods i love. i like that the ww personalpoints plan is built just for me. start the new year with three months free. join today at ww.com. hurry, offer ends january 3rd. ♪ ♪ do your eyes bother you? because after all these emails, my eyes feel like a combo of stressed, dry and sandpaper. strypaper? why do we all put up with this? when there's biotrue hydration boost eye drops.
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welcome back. the january 6 committee is pumping the brakes on some of its requests for documents from the trump white house. thanks to pushback from the biden white house, lawmakers have agreed to delay or drop their demands for hundreds of pages of records found unrelated to this probe, or that at least
raise national security concerns. so what's the upshot for the panel's work going forward? cnn's whitney wild is in washington with more on this story. >> reporter: paula, laura, the house select committee investigating january 6th has pared back its requests for some documents from the trump white house after the biden administration pushed back. the biden administration made a few argument for holding back some of these documents. some of them are just not relevant to the investigation. but in other cases, the committee is deferring the request because some of these documents are highly sensitive and they originated outside of the white house in executive branch agencies. these are the kind of developments that show the committee is still working at warp speed to collect and analyze as much information as possible, and possibly for an interim report sometime over the summer. and there is another possibility that we will see a full report sometime in the fall. the committee is certainly entering a new phase of more public work with plans for public hearings sometime in 2022.
meanwhile, a conservative judge in d.c. appointed by former president trump has said a conspiracy case against members of the proud boys can move forward. this is significant because in a 43-page ruling, the judge said that the alleged crimes could not be considered protected first amendment speech, laura and paula. >> whitney, thank you for that. so, paula, you covered the legal fallout from these riots, a lot of these cases. the ruling whitney mentioned seems to give prosecutors more momentum as they sort of prepare for the trials that are to come. >> exactly. it really does give them some momentum heading into these trials because here, another judge has green lit their use of this obstruction charge. this is the cornerstone of a lot of the prosecutions that they're bringing, some of the most serious cases in this entire portfolio. carries a maximum of 20 years. so the fact that the judge is giving this the green light as they head into these trials which begin in february, this is a big win for the justice department. as you said, it really does give
them some momentum heading into these high stakes trials. >> all right, something to watch for sure. all right. a little programming note for your weekend plans. friends, collaborators, legends, carole king and james taylor in an unforgettable concert film. "just call out my name" sunday at 9:00 p.m. only on cnn. ll pre? reduces inflammation? thank the gods. don't thank them too soon. kick pain in the aspercreme. [♪] you no longer need to visit a dermatologist for top skincare ingredients. introducing dermageek's detoxifying facial serum with twice the amount of beta hydroxy acid. it delivers brighter, hydrated skin! try the new dermageek
at northwestern mutual, our version of financial planning helps you live your dreams today. find a northwestern mutual advisor at nm.com holiday gift? you might just be told to keep it. that's because the return of a $50 item costs merchants about $33. that's up 59% from 2020. and with three in ten online purchases returned, retailers have quickly figured out it doesn't pay to process returns since the items are frequently discarded, donated or repurposed for sale. >> but there's a catch. if you're thinking about gaming the system for free stuff, better think twice. retailers keep tabs on what they call frequent returners, and
some even keep a risk score on customers. i fear i might be on one of those blacklists. retailers are encouraging people to return their unwanted gifts directly to the physical stores, that way companies can make returned products available for resale to offset all these supply chain issues. "early start" continues right now. ♪ good morning, everyone. this is "early start." i'm laura jarrett. >> and i'm paula reid in for christine romans. it is 31 minutes past the hour. >> paula, great to have you. time for the top stories to keep our eye on today. a record number of covid cases in the united states. more than 265,000 hospitalizations of children are up about 50% in just one week. and according to the fda, at-home antigen tests may be less sensitive to picking up the omicron variant. more on that in just a moment. and former democratic senate leader harry reid has died. reid was an amateur boxer and former capitol hill police
officer who spent 30 years in the senate. he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer tuesday at the age of 82. legendary nfl coach and hall of famer john madden has died. madden's oakland raiders never had a losing season. coach, as he was known, was also a beloved football analyst for 30 years. he was 85 years old. and jurors in the ghislaine maxwell sex trafficking trial tell the judge they are making progress. day six of deliberations is set for today. the judge told attorneys, if no verdict it reached, she will tell the jurors to deliberate over the nuhew year's holiday weekend. sierra nevada mountains are seeing record snowfall, 17 feet. it is not enough to snap the region out of extreme drought. the snow pack accounts for nearly a third of california's freshwater supply, and reservoirs are still low. ready to forget 2021 with a gas of bubbly? well, you're not alone. the alcohol delivery service
drizzly says 17% of wine delivered in december is actually champagne. it's kind of surprising. all right. turning back now to covid, it was considered just unthinkable a few months ago. the u.s. shattering its record for average daily covid cases more than doubling in two weeks alone. this is thanks to a combination of both omicron and delta, which the cdc now says hasn't fallen into the background as much as first thought. >> now the fda says at-home coronavirus tests may be less sensitive to picking up the omicron variant. that could send more people into those long testing lines, which could make results take even longer. let's bring in dr. ali raha, executive vice chair of emergency medicine at mass general ral hhospital. thank you for being with us. the at-home test kits that have been so coveted the last few weeks may be less sensitive
picking up the omicron variant. can you help us make sense of this? >> absolutely. now, here's the thing. the fda and nih team look specifically at the take home tests and they found a few of them had lower sensitivities for omicron than other variants. because they can have false negatives even though people have the disease. here's the thing. they're good tests to start with especially if they come back positive, or if you're just testing because of the fact that you maybe had an exposure or at a gathering and don't have symptoms. if you have symptoms, you're absolutely right. even if you have a negative test, you have to get a pcr test. that may mean waiting in line as you talked about. >> folks need to understand how to use them properly, which is to use them serially, not just one and done. the former surgeon general jerome adams is pushing back on the cdc isolation guidance we saw just yesterday, saying you shouldn't leave quarantine. adams is saying you shouldn't leave quarantine until you test negative. that's not what the cdc is saying, in part, because tests
are so hard to find. where do you come down on this? >> i actually agree with dr. adams. i talked with my patients about this. if you can imagine, we were all talking about this yesterday whenever i saw patients in the e.r.. the idea is really what we should be aiming for is that after five days, you don't have symptoms, you get a negative test. i mean, it is impossible to find tests in a lot of places. so the cdc is walking that fine line that they're not going to require tests to come out of isolation because they're hard to find. but they are asking people to wear masks for another five days. so at the very least we need to do that. >> but the problem is we see how well that has turned out so far. >> i know. >> so true. >> i know. >> pediatric covid cases continue to spike. major school districts like new york city are set to return monday. from what you're seeing in your e.r., is this an issue of a volume of cases or the severity of the virus, or is it just parents bringing their kids to the hospital because they're scared? >> it's all three. none of those are great, but
you'd much rather have volume than severity. unfortunately that's what it looks like we are right now. we only have a handful of kids admitted to the hospital at mgh primarily for covid. but we have a lot of kids coming in for testing and patients or rather parents in this case who are worried. i'd much rather have that than a bunch of kids being admitted, but there are a lot of parents can kids coming in for testing. >> speaking of parents that are scared right now, you have this awful viral buffet if you will this winter with the flu. covid. the common cold. rsv. it's all circulating at the same time. help us out with some practical advice. how can we tell the difference in symptoms? >> it's really hard. i've been talking to my friends and family about this as well because they're wondering if they really need to go in and get themselves or their kids tested, especially with school starting up on monday. my kids are both starting up on monday, too. and the fact is the same thing that i tell my patients here,
when you come in for testing, i can't definitively tell you whether this is the flu or rsv or covid without doing that testing. and so you really need it. there are some things like the loss of taste and the loss of smell and the headache that seem to be more associated with covid. but the only way to really know is to get tested. >> now, it's safe to say much of the country is near a breaking point with covid. health care workers are getting it worse than anyone. so many people are facing burnout. do you have any advice for people who are over it and heading into another unpredictable winter? >> you're so right. the prospect of a third year finding this pandemic is daunting and i've run into this with patients and friends and family. i think really trying to focus on how far we've come over the past two years, right, safety protocols, vaccines, treatments, masks. but people still feel overwhelmed, and i think the thing i'm really emphasizing right now, it is okay to feel that way. it is okay to ask or help and
see a therapist or psychologist or psychiatrist. with telemedicine it's easier in some cases than it was before the pandemic. >> that's such a good point. asking for help is always a good thing. and we appreciate everything that you are doing, doctor. and we appreciate you always getting up early for us on top of everybody else you have going on. thank you. >> thanks, laura and paula. and disturbing new details in the colorado shooting spree from monday night that killed five people and injured two, including a police officer. new information suggesting each of the victims was targeted and it could stem from the suspect's failed business as a tattoo store owner. cnn's omar jimenez reports. >> reporter: well, the suspect was identified as 47-year-old linden james mcleod. he allegedly shot and killed five people in the denver area in about an hour's time, and injured others, including a police officer. and police say this suspect may
have known the people he shot. at the very least, saying that they believe some of these attacks were targeted. now, according to the colorado secretary of state's website, linden james mcleod owned a tattoo shop. from 2005 until he was declared delinquent in 2017, there is a new shop at that site. that is the site of the third shooting monday afternoon. in total, this happened across multiple sites. three of those sites were either at or near tattoo shops. what's more is police say this isn't the first time he has been on law enforcement's radar. >> this individual was on the radar of law enforcement, that there were two previous investigations into this individual's action. neither of those investigations resulted in state or federal criminal charges. >> reporter: much of this investigation so far has been trying to nail down what
happened, but moving forward, laura and paula, it's going to center on why. >> omar jimenez, thank you for that update. and new overnight, another crackdown on the media in hong kong. cnn's ivan watson is on the ground in hong kong with details about a raid and several arrests. ivan, good morning. what more can you tell us? >> reporter: good morning. well, laura, basically one of the last remaining independent media voices in hong kong has been snuffed out because early this morning in the dog days between christmas and new year's, police staged a huge raid, 200 police officers on the newsroom of this online news portal. and also arrested at least seven of its current and former editorial staff, accusing them of publishing seditious material. and hours after these raids and after freezing the company's assets, the company made an announcement on facebook saying, hey, we're shutting down. we're dismissing everybody and clearing our social media.
and there is an echo here. this happened earlier this year with the biggest circulation newspaper in the city, apple daily. it was raided, its publisher behind bars. just got new sedition charges a couple days ago. and the effect is celsquelching journalism here. the hong kong government would argue, listen, no, what we're trying to do is restore law and order after those protests turned into violent riots in 2019. but they have arrested dozens of opposition politicians behind bars. you can't protest in the streets any more, so take your pick from which narrative is happening. either restoration of law and order, or a crackdown around christmas. >> all right, ivan, this is something to watch. thank you so much. we'll be right back.
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45 minutes past the hour, and here in new york prices for basic necessities, i'm talking food, gas, homes are skyrocketing right now. eating is taking a bigger bite out of family budgets. pent up demand, fertilizer costs and bad weather could keep food prices high. and a new gas buddy forecast predicts the national average for a gallon of gas will rise to $3.41 in 2022, up from just over
$3 a gallon this year. that would reverse some of the relief drivers have felt recently as gas prices slowly receded from those seven-year highs. and home prices saw double digit price growth again in october, up 19.1% from last year. the last four months have seen the biggest jumps in 34 years. bottom line, covid is causing mayhem with the economy. the disruption, though, is different this time. vaccines and boosters are widely available, but the staggering speed in which omicron is spreading and the shortage of available tests is causing real pain. many companies have told office workers to just stay home and restaurants are once again under pressure. one significant unknown is what the latest spike in covid-19 means for inflation, and those already tangled supply chains. some four months after that chaotic u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan, the fallout is being felt in that nation and beyond. the taliban are clamping down
once again on women's rights as thousands of afghan refugees in american bases around the world wait for answers about their future. our coverage this morning starts with cnn's arwa damon in istanbul. arwa, good morning. it seems like all of these new rules from the taliban seem to involve women in cars. >> reporter: yeah, a lot of them do, and the taliban keep saying that this is all to keep the female population safe. but it really is quite reminiscent of the way that the taliban used to rule and implement its rules 20-plus years ago. these new set of rules are basically telling women that if they want to travel further than 45 miles, they have to have a male escort with them. the rules also tell drivers not to pick up women unless they are properly covered up, not to play music, and to make sure that they pull over during prayer times. and you also have to remember,
laura, that the ministry of women's affairs in afghanistan was shutdown by the taliban and replaced by what is known as the ministry of vice and virtue. this was a very feared ministry under the taliban of two decades ago. one whose operatives would roam the streets and harsh rules, especially when it came to women and how women should be acting under the taliban's interpretation of sharia law. so you can imagine now once again, if you're a woman or young girl in afghanistan, you are seeing your happiness, your joy, your life, your ability to living taken away. and to that account, it is worth noting that we do still see small protests being led by women standing up to the taliban, wanting to hold onto the life that they used to have, laura. >> and the courage it takes to do that in the face of all of this. arwa, thank you for your reporting as usual. and months after the fall of
afghanistan to the taliban, thousands of afghani evacuees abroad and at u.s. bases are still waiting to be resettled. cnn's priscilla alvarez is live in washington with more. priscilla, what are you learning? >> reporter: paula, the reality is there is a lot of work ahead for the biden administration as they try to re-settle afghans who evacuated when the taliban took over. to give you a sense of scope, nearly 3,000 afghans are still waiting at pad locations. those are transit countries used by the u.s. to continue to vet and process afghans as they made their way to the u.s. and tens of thousands still remain on domestic military bases. and this wait, this delay is really taking a toll on those evacuees who already endured intense trauma in evacuating afghanistan this fall. our colleague kylie atwood spoke to one afghan waiting in the united arab emirates with his family since september. and he says that his depression is increasing as he is desperate
to come to the united states, and unclear as to why there is a delay. now, he, like many others, left afghanistan with little to no belongings. and that is crucial paperwork that could be used to process. now, the state department says they are trying to facilitate travel for those without documentation. the reality is there is a lot of work ahead for this administration both abroad and here in the united states as they work to get people off those domestic bases by mid february. paula? >> a lot of work ahead. priscilla, thank you so much. and a rare move toward diplomacy in the middle east. for the first time in a decade, the president, the palestinian authority has stepped foot inside israel for talks with a top israeli leader. elliott is live for us in jerusalem. elliott, this seems significant. >> reporter: laura, i suppose it's significant on a number of levels. on a level that it's not significant, it doesn't mean there is any sense of a move towards resuming peace talks. the peace process remains abandoned. i don't think anyone seriously
expects any progress on that front at least while there are rival parties including naftali bennett. in terms of significance there are a few things going on. we saw national security adviser jake sullivan in israel last week meeting with prime minister naftali bennett, meeting with mahmoud abbas, the palestinian authority, to reinforce peace around the gaza trip. i suppose what the meeting does is show the biden administration's re-engagement with the israeli/palestinian issue is having results, albeit conversations. another reason for the meeting was to bolster the position of mahmoud abbas. his meeting wasn't supported by anyone really outside of his own fatah party. but still by reinforcing his position, israel hopes to strengthen his position and also ensure that there is, you know, no real room for hamas which controls the gaza strip, to get a foothold and power in the west bank. and the other thing going on is there has been rising tensions in the west bank, growing violence between palestinians, against israeli and israeli
settlors, the de-escalation of tensions particularly with regard to concessions we are seeing coming out of this meeting with regards to money and also more permits and the like for palestinians. laura? >> very interesting. elliott, thank you. all right. let's get a little sports. cnn is updating its covid-19 protocols to be more in line with the cdc's new guidelines. coy wire is back with us with this morning's bleacher report. hey, coy. >> we saw a similar change to the nba policy. the nfl taking action as well. the league saying that any player who tests positive for covid-19 will have to isolate for five days instead of ten as long as they are asymptomatic and feeling well. players that return will have to wear masks at all times for another five days. that is in line with the giengs the cdc put out on monday. the nfl has seen a surge in covid cases, laura, with just two weeks remaining in the regular season. now, the nhl was back last night after a week long break due to covid concerns and
christmas holiday. laura, 33 goals were scored in three games, including that game winner there in overtime for the two-time defending champion lightning over the canadiens. tampa owns the league's best record on 46 points. however, the league still postponed ten more games yesterday. many of them due to attendance restrictions in canada. 80 games have been impacted so far this season. another college football bowl game called off hours before the holiday bowl was kicked off in san diego forced usc to withdraw from the game against north carolina state. it's the fifth game now canceled this bowl season. meanwhile in the guaranteed ray bowl perhaps, the biggest touchdown every, 6'9", 380 pound scoring a two-yard touchdown for minnesota. the 22-year-old originally from australia, didn't even start playing football till he was a junior in high school. now he's an all-conference
player for the golden gophers, helping them get a big win over west virginia. memories being made, traditions continue, fun for those playing in the bowl games that are still going on. look at these moves. oregon and oklahoma players having some fun before their alamo bowl match up. that's tonight. they're going toe to toe on the dance floor. this is what bowl games are all about. rewarding kids with some fun after working hard all season long. you feel for those seniors who are missing out on some of these moments amid the bowl games being canceled. something so many around the world can relate to, though. just trying to find a bit of light amidst all the madness. >> trying to find a little bit of joy, a little hype music goes a long way. thank you, coy. appreciate it. >> you got it. and a fedex driver from maine got to go home to jamaica for christmas thanks to the kindness of strangers. a few months ago, siblings vivian and chase murphy gave their fedex driver roger in gram a bottle of water.
now the family is elated every time they hear his truck coming up the crave way. >> -- driveway. >> they took it a step further. they bought him a flight home. the $700-plus ticket was paid in full. >> it was kind of emotional because i didn't expect it, so kindness goes a long way. you're my buddy. >> this is his first time visiting his family in jamaica in just a couple of years. look how happy they are to see him. that's really lovely. thank you for joining us. i'm paula reid. >> paula, it's so nice to have you the past couple days. hope you get a bit of a break. i'm laura jarrett. "new day" is next.
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good morning to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. it is wednesday, december 29th. i'm john avlon in with kaitlan collins as we hit mid-week. how are you doing? >> i feel like we're doing well so far. this wakeup call is a little early but i'm getting used to it, which is scary. the u.s. shattering its record average number of daily covid cases and the cdc skhrarbing the omicron prevalence. blew, the political world and sports world are mourning the death of two giants, harry reid and john avlon. 265,000 ne