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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  December 30, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PST

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hello and a warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the united states and around the world. i'm max foster in london. just ahead on "cnn newsroom." >> we're really struggling to maintain our work force, particularly with nurses right now. >> indoor new year's eve celebrations should be out. u.s. health system facing immense pressure as cases hit record peaks. officials say omicron may be milder, spreading across the country like wildfire. we're just hours away from more talks between vladimir putin and u.s. president biden.
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tensions over ukraine, no doubt, on top of that agenda. and mourners pay their respects to antiapartheid hero archbishop desmond tutu. we'll go live to africa. >> announcer: live from london, this is "cnn newsroom" with max foster. it's thursday, december 30th, with just two days left in 2021. we are now seeing the coronavirus pandemic explode right around the globe. according to johns hopkins university, the world is averaging an all-time high of more than a million new infections a day. experts warn things will only get worse. >> this virus will continue to evolve and threaten our health system if we don't improve the collective response.
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concerned omicron will be more transmissible, circulating at the same time as delta is leading to a tsunami of cases. >> infections are also rising quickly in the u.s.. the country is averaging more than 300,000 new cases a day in the past week, and that's another record. johns hopkins reports close to 490,000 cases on wednesday. and more than half a million on monday. we should point out, though, these numbers could be the result of a lag in reporting over the christmas holidays. the centers for disease control and prevention is forecasting 44,000 new covid deaths in the u.s. over the next month. that would bring the country's death toll to nearly 870,000 in just two years. and one expert predicts a looming disaster for the health care system. >> we don't know a lot of the things we wish we'd know, but what we do know and what is emerging here is the country is going to be in the soup in the next few weeks. with so many cases and so many
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locations, that we're going to see critical infrastructure as well as health care challenged. >> just one example of infrastructure already struggling is the new york city subway system. sick-outs forced the closure of an entire line between queens and manhattan on wednesday. lines of covid testing in a number of u.s. cities stretched for hours and home test kits are virtually impossible to find in drugstores or online. one former health and human services official calls the situation absolutely in excusable. >> americans are waiting too long. i describe it as the hunger games and i really mean it. permly, i've been traveling during the holiday. i've had rushed in store after store to find a test, exposing myself to people who might be infected with this virus. it's not where we should be going into year three of this pandemic and the biden administration can do a lot more. >> the biden administration is working to address the problem. the defense department assigned a massive contract to produce critical materials for covid testing.
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u.s. regulators have authorized two new at-home test kits made by rush and siemens. protection from the pfizer vaccine is reduced against omicron, but is restored by a booster. one of the studies provides real-life data that two doses still protect people from severe illness and death even without a booster. the cdc director says 12 to 15-year-olds could be approved for boosters in the next few days or weeks, but vaccines for children under 5 will take longer. the number of children admitted to hospitals in the u.s. is rising rapidly or steadily, ra rather. a study shows 334 admissions per day, a 58% increase from the previous week. health experts are advising people to avoid large new year's parties this weekend. they say small gatherings should be okay as long as everyone is vaccinated and tests negative
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beforehand. cnn spoke with several doctors who say hospitals and health care workers are being overwhelmed by the omicron surge. >> to hear that omicron is different and is not cause being immense illness in people is not what we're seeing on the ground. we're seeing our e.r.s flooded with people who are looking for a test but are also sick and want to be evaluate and had find out what's going on so they can protect their family. inside the hospital we're seeing an increase in admissions that is startling. we've more than doubled our admission since last week this time and people are sick. >> it is unlike anything we've ever seen. even at the peak of the prior surges of covid. what we're experiencing right now is an absolute overwhelming of the emergency departments throughout washington, d.c. all our hospitals themselves, the inpatient wards seem to be maintaining. the emergency departments are being flooded with mostly mildly symptomatic patients who are coming in to get tested. and it's part of that shortfall of national testing that's occurring and it's all falling
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on the emergency department. and all of our problems are compounded by the fact that while many of us were able to stay safe from getting the delta variant and the previous variants that have come our way, omicron is affecting the staff at our hospitals in an unprecedented way. >> several countries across europe are reporting a massive surge of covid infections never before seen during the pandemic. for the first time, spain surpassed 100,000 covid-19 cases in a single day despite the rise in numbers, the spanish government has decided to reduce the quarantine period for those who test positive from ten to seven days. the uk set a record of its own with 183,000 new daily cases. according to public health officials, the omicron variant accounts for more than 90% of all infections in england. meanwhile france reported 208,000 cases in just 24 hours. that's the highest number of daily infections for any country in europe since the pandemic
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began. cnn's melissa bell joins us now live from paris. many people are a symptomatic, the numbers are probably higher, aren't they, melissa. >> reporter: that's right, we heard from the health minister yesterday at the parliamentary committee, a million people could be contaminated in france right now. the number was probably much higher than that simply because there are many people who don't yet realize they have it. here in france, the omicron variant is not yet the dominant one. it is still the delta variant he explained to the committee yesterday that is causing that stress on the hospital system. and that we're seeing such fast rises in. but omicron is not far behind, he warned, with the number of cases doubling every two to three days. it should soon be dominant here in france as well. and what he explained as well, max, i think this was interesting, that whilst omicron was three times less dangerous than previous strains, it was leading to six to seven times more infections. that in terms of the arithmetic was going to have an effect on
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the health care system already coming under strain. we are already seeing in france here operations being deprogrammed, patients being turned away in order that i.c.u. beds can be kept clear for what is expected to be a rise in the number of hospitalizations. what he described yesterday and and fairly alarming terms, was that what france is seeing a fifth wave of a tsunami, max. >> the pressure on the health care system here in the uk seems to be because of a lack of testing. a lot of health care workers have got a lot of issues working out whether or not people are positive or negative, but also the health care workers are home because they're getting covid and they are being tested. >> reporter: that's exactly right. that is something we're seeing repeated throughout europe. the system coming under strain because people are getting sick, but also because the people meant to be taking care of them are getting sick. so far the latest strain spreading, we got to the
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situation yesterday where you had 208,000 new cases in france, another record set. it was the third in about five days that was set. that's how quickly it's going. if you look across the border in germany, max, it is just 1/6 of the i.c.u. beds currently available. that gives you an idea the pressure hospital systems are coming under. it is a matter of weeks the case loads we're seeing in so many european countries, max. >> melissa in paris, thank you. after five days of deliberation, a jury in new york has convicted ghislaine maxwell of helping jeffrey epstein sexually abuse teenage girls. maxwell now faces up to 65 years in prison. she was convicted of recruiting and grooming four girls for her former boyfriend and associate. >> justice has been done. i want to commend the bravery of the girls now grown women who stepped out of the shadows and into the courtroom. their courage and willingness to face their abuser made today's result in this case possible.
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>> maxwell's family left the courthouse without comment, but her brother later issued a statement saying they firmly believe in her innocence. no date has been set for sentencing. randi kaye has more on the testimony at the trial. >> reporter: a british socialite on trial focused for her twisted behavior. now guilty of the five of the six counts against her. the trial included key testimony from four women who alleged jeffrey epstein sexually abused them, and maxwell not only helped facilitate, but in some cases participated in that abuse. between 1994 and 2004. the women at the time were younger than 18. >> maxwell was among epstein's closest associates and helped him exploit girls who were as young as 14 years old. >> reporter: maxwell was found guilty of the most serious charge of sex trafficking a girl named carolyn between 2001 and 2004 when she was a minor and
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just 14 years old. carolyn had told the court that she was paid hundreds of dollars every time she engaged in a sexualized massage with epstein, and recruited other young girls for him. carolyn recalled on the stand how maxwell groped her naked body on one visit when she was just 14, telling her she had a great body for epstein and his friends. in court, defense attorneys tried to suggest carolyn made inconsistent statements about her time line, but it seems the jury didn't buy that. another woman identified at trial only as jane testified she was 14 when she endured abuse that included oral sex and intercourse, testifying that s sometimes maxwell took part in the sex acts. another girl annie farmer told the court when she was 16 maxwell massaged her bare chest at the north carolina ranch.
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they didn't remember or were lying for personal gain or adding maxwell at the government's suggestion. epstein's former pilots also testified. larry visoski flew for nearly 30 years. he called maxwell epstein 2, his go-to person. he testified he flew maxwell and epstein and high-profile passengers, but never saw any sexual activity on board the aircraft. in court, the defense tried to paint maxwell as a scapegoat for a man who behaved badly, that man being epstein who maxwell dated in the 198 the 90s. the two remained close after the relationship ended. he faced charges after running a sex trafficking ring. he took his life in prison while awaiting trial in 2019. so now it is ghislaine maxwell's term to answer for the crimes. and having just celebrated her 60th birthday in prison, she could spend the rest of her life behind bars.
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randi kaye, cnn, palm beach county, florida. >> maxwell's attorney says the defense was disappointed with the verdict and announced the next legal step. >> we firmly believe in ghislaine's innocence. obviously we are very disappointed with the verdict. we have already started working on the appeal, and we are confident that she will be vindicated. >> annie farmer is one of the women who testified against maxwell. she said, i'm so relieved and grateful that the jury recognized the pattern of predatory behavior that maxwell engaged in for years and found her guilty of these crimes. i hope that this verdict brings solace to all those -- to all who need it and demonstrates that no one is above the law. the attorney for another accuser said today's verdict is a towering victory not just for the brave women who testified in this trial, but for the women around the world whose young and tender lives were diminished and damaged by the abhorrent actions of ghislaine maxwell.
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no date has been set yet for maxwell's sentencing. the nature of the skrcrimes wil weigh heavily on how much prison time she gets. >> when you look at crimes, you look at the statutory maximum, right. what does the law allow at the end of the day for a particular defendant to get. but then what you do is as the norm is what the guideline sets would otherwise dictate. it is not going to be lost on the court that this offense is egregious. her offense level will be significant, and therefore, she will get a number of years in jail. at the same time, mitigation, right. she doesn't have any criminal history, et cetera, so i do think that there would be an opportunity not for her to spend the rest of her life in jail, but at the end of the day, that she will get significant and stiff time for these, you know, just egregious crimes. >> maxwell was convicted on five of the six counts against her including the most serious sex trafficking of a minor. she was acquitted of enticing a
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minor to travel with the intent of engaging in illegal sexual activity. with russian forces keeping up military pressure on ukraine, presidents putin and biden are seconds away from their second high stakes phone call in less than a month. those details just ahead. and in johannesburg, south africa, a memorial service to honor the late archbishop desmond tutu.
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in the coming hours, u.s. president biden and russian president putin will hold a phone call at the request of mr. putin and continued ratchet tensions in eastern europe. alexander lukashenko agreed to hold joint military exercises in belarus. to the north russian troops are are already on the ukraine border. they fear moscow is preparing to invade ukraine again and today's phone call is presumably to dissuade putin from taking action. cnn's nic robertson joins us from moscow. what is the intel you are
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hearing, nic? >> reporter: the kremlin isn't laying out a reason why putin asked for the phone call. what we heard from the white house is they remain concerned about russia's continued troop buildup on the border of ukraine. and the message is that if russia really wants to have a constructive and productive dialogue in these talks that are coming up on january the 10th, then this needs to happen in an atmosphere of de-escalation, and the united states says it's not seeing any de-escalation at the moment in terms of the russian troop buildup. and in the past few days, the united states flew a spy plane over ukraine with the ability to look at what russian troops were doing, how they were deployed. russia, of course, said it had withdrawn 10,000 troops. the united states seems to have the view that at the moment russian posturing for productive talks is not there, but we
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understand the view from their side, but we don't understand at the moment why the kremlin wants this phone call other than perhaps what we've seen very clearly emerge here is that russia believes that it's the united states that can address its real concerns over nato's presence and future -- potential future presence in ukraine. and that is the crux of what russia wants to get at here, of course, and it sees the united states as the vehicle to help change nato's opinion and position. this is a very, very -- going to be a very, very tough negotiation. and we just heard from the russian side about who will be the lead negotiators at the talks on january the 10th in geneva. the deputy foreign minister on the russian side sergey ribakov and the secretary of state. >> what will they accept for the offer of this call rather than
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batting it away and not being seen to, you know, kowtow, as it were, with russia with this request? >> reporter: yeah, what we are being told from the white house is this fits with biden's sort of playbook on how international diplomacy should be done. he thinks that leadership to leadership talks can be productive and useful. certainly it would appear in the context of, you know, that phone call that they had a few weeks ago, the agreement there, lower-level diplomatic tract should be established. through that track russia set forward its demands about nato not allowing ukraine to become a member of nato and for nato not to base troops and weapons systems inside ukraine. that first call allowed for a lower-level diplomatic track which has led to the establishment of the talks in geneva on january the 10th.
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so you would ask why the need for this phone call right now. from the russian perspective, it's not clear, and it's what perhaps is slightly puzzling as you try to figure this -- the maneuvering out here is, you know, one would have expected the kremlin in the past perhaps to have laid out why the phone call -- why they wanted to have this phone call and made something of it. they have made a lot about pressuring the united states into getting into these talks. they made a lot about that video conference that president putin and president biden had several weeks ago. this is radio silence on the phone call part of it, max. >> okay, nic in moscow, thank you. a former u.s. president donald trump submitted a new filing to the u.s. supreme court on wednesday. they are hoping the court will block the house committee investigating the january 6 insurrection from getting his white house records. the high court hasn't yet said if it will take up trump's
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lawsuit. in an interview with the "washington post," committee chairman bennie thompson suggested trump's delay in stopping the riot could lead to a criminal referral to the justice department. trump's lawyers say this is outside the committee's proper legislative role and an argument already rejected by lower courts. the committee is expected to respond with its own filing later today. meanwhile, the former president is using his considerable influence to reward republicans who support him and punish those who don't. on tuesday, he offered his endorsement to alaska's governor, but with strings attached. cnn's sofarti has that report. >> reporter: president trump made it clear he's taking on his political enemies. mark done levy for reelection only if he does not endorse republican senator lisa murkowski for reelection.
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she has been in trump's sight since she voted to impeach him for the insurrection at the capitol. >> ms. murkowski? ms. murkowski guilty. >> reporter: this is the latest in a long string of trump endorsements, fueled by getting revenge and settling political vendetta. >> the war monger, a person that loves seeing our troops fighting, liz cheney. how about that? >> reporter: in wyoming trump throwing his support behind congresswoman liz cheney's primary opponent, harriet higamen. >> so hopefully they'll get rid of her with the next election. >> reporter: after cheney has voted to impeach him and call out his dishonesty. >> we cannot be dragged backward by the very dangerous lies of a former president. >> reporter: in georgia, trump endorsing david perdue for governor as a way to get back at republican governor brian kemp for not doing enough to undermine the will of georgia
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voters and turn the 2020 election for trump. >> and your rhino governor brian kemp who has been a complete disaster. >> reporter: trump also using his endorsement to preserve his own political brand, attempting to stack the party with loyalists even if those candidates come with controversy. in pennsylvania trump endorsing former army captain sean parnell. >> he's a real hero, a real tough guy, and he'll never let you down. sean parnell. >> reporter: parnell went on to suspend his campaign in november after a messy and contentious custody battle. in the georgia senate race, trump recruiting and endorsing political newcomer herschel walker. >> you know, herschel is not only a georgia hero. he is an american legend. >> reporter: even as the former football star has faced allegations of threatening multiple women over a span of a decade. walker has spoken openly about his violent past, but his campaign denied a more recent
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allegation of threatening behavior from 2012. >> hello, ohio. >> reporter: and in ohio trump is backing former senior white house adviser max miller for congress. even as he faces allegations of abuse from his ex-girlfriend former white house press secretary stephanie gersham. miller has denied the abuse and filed a defamation suit against gersham. trump has endorsed several down-ballot candidates those running for secretary of state and jgeneral in statewide races as well as election posts in precinct level. trump hopings to place his allies in more prominent roles ahead of the 2024 presidential election. sun lunch serfaty, cnn, washington. new yorkers took trading political blows to a whole new level getting to fist fights on the parliament floor.
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it broke out over constitutional debates on tuesday that would give more rights to women, with one conservative lawmaker calling the proposed changes as going, quote, against morality and motherhood. just ahead on "cnn newsroom," the biden administration is trying to clarify its latest guidelines. some say it's more confusing than ever. plus, naming and shaming, public humiliation in china for those who are caught breaking pandemic rules. the latest from beijing after the break. in a 21 month study, scientists proved that rid- x reduces up to 20% of waste build up every month. take the pressure off with rid-x. finally getting the best! but with febreze freshness in your car... ...driving there is pretty darn good too. enjoy 30 days of freshness with febreze car.
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welcome back to "cnn newsroom." i'm max foster. our top story this hour is the surge in omicron variant. more u.s. states are deploying the national guard to support health care workers amidst the covid surge. georgia and ohio are getting help for hospitals and testing and police and paramedics are calling out sick in new york and ohio. top health officials in the u.s. are trying to clear up their latest guidance for people who are recovering from covid, but somehow things seem to be more confusing than ever as cnn's alexander field reports. >> this was the moment we needed to make that decision. >> reporter: facing the biggest covid surge we've ever seen, the cdc director defending the decision to cut isolation time in half for people whose symptoms are getting better. >> it had a lot to do with what we thought people would be able to tolerate. if we can get them to isolate, we want to make sure they are isolating in the first five days
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when they are maximally infectious. >> reporter: the cdc arguing 80 to 95% of transmission occurs in the first five days. still the guidance is drawing fierce debate among experts. >> there is absolutely no data that i am aware about with the omicron -- that supports people coming out of isolation five days after they were first diagnosed with the virus. >> you either shutdown the society, which no one wants to do, or you try and get a situation where you can safely get people back, particularly to critical jobs, without having them be out for a full ten days. >> reporter: long testing lines are still snaking across the country. new cases are skyrocketing to numbers never seen before. deaths and hospitalizations key indicators at this moment are also climbing, but not as quickly. >> are we seeing lower hospitalization rates because
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omicron is less virulent or are we seeing less hospitalization rates because we do have a considerable amount of the population that is vaccinated? >> reporter: booster shots for younger teens may now be just weeks away, says the cdc. while younger children remain the least vaccinated age group in the country. >> the vast majority of children that are infected with covid have mild infection, but you do have to be aware that that does put your child at risk for hospitalization, puts your child at risk for transmitting to other people in their classroom. >> reporter: washington, d.c. schools now requiring a negative test for teachers and students to come back to class, with the peak of the surge likely still ahead of us, dr. fauci again warning people to take precautions ahead of another new year. >> if your plans are to go to a 40 to 50-person new year's eve party with all the bells and whistles and everybody hugging and kissing and wishing each other a happy new year, i would strongly recommend that this
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year we do not do that. >> reporter: alexandra field, cnn, new york. u.s. stocks put in a strong performance yesterday, but the dow and the s&p 500 finished at all-time highs in what's known as a santa claus rally. that's when gains are made during the last week of the year after christmas, trading volumes pretty low. the dow gained 91 points. it's the first time the index has hit a new record since early november. here's a look at the futures and the international markets as well. looking pretty positive. less concerned about omicron right now, let's say, than a week ago. 13 million people in the chinese city of xi'an are now in their eighth day of lockdown as covid-19 cases continue to rise. 156 new locally transmitted infections wednesday, and everyoning being ordered to stay home. all but one of those infections was from xi'an. now officials are taking drastic measures to stop further spread. on tuesday, police publicly
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shamed four people for allegedly breaking china's strict covid protocols. let's bring in steven jiang live from beijing. they literally paraded them down the street. this is extreme. >> reporter: that's right, max. the disturbing videos you just mentioned emerged from the border town in southern china where, as you mentioned, four people in full hazmat suits with photos around their necks being marched through the streets for allegedly helping others illegally crossing the borders into china from neighboring vietnam. that's considered a heinous offense by local police because of china's continued border closure and increasingly tightened covid rules. there have been some recent outbreaks blaming illegal immigrants. that's why local officials defended the public shaming tactics saying it is needed as a deterrent. it has stirred many public
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reactions. this reminded them of one of the most repressive periods in recent chinese history. that is the cultural revolution in the 1960s and '70s when political fanatics were humiliating their enemies in this manner. that's why even in state media outlets said this is a serious violation of rule of law. it should never happen again. of course, critics say this is once again exposed the dark side of china's zero covid policy with many local officials having little regard for human rights or dignity in the name of covid prevention. max? >> steven in beijing, thank you. from cape town to johannesburg and beyond, south africa is saying good-bye to antiapartheid hero archbishop desmond tutu. a live report is next.
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our switch squad makes switching fast and easy this holiday season. right now a memorial service for the late archbishop desmond tutu underway in south africa's largest city johannesburg.
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lots of words being said of the man. it is the latest event of the week filled with remembrances. the man known as the moral conscience of the country. also south africans from all walks of life are paying their respects to tutu in cape town right now. mourners are visiting his casket in st. george's cathedral where he is lying in state. let's go to cnn's larry madowo. they are much more limited because of covid than the authorities would have wished. they look quite isolated, many of the guests. >> reporter: they are because currently south africa has a restriction on how many people can attend a funeral. it's only 100, and so archbishop desmond tutu actual funeral will have 100 people, family, friends, clergy, people he went to the church with. that is why they have two days of lying in state in st. george's cathedral in cape town today and tomorrow, to allow as many south africans as
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possible to pay their respects. max, i've been watching that live stream. you see such a diverse set of people from all walks of life, different ages, racial groups and creed all coming to, you know, have a moment of silence, to make the scientific of the cross, some are sobbing, just to really say good-bye to this man who was considered a national treasure in south africa and also at this other memorial service taking place in johannesburg where some more people who will not travel to cape town will finally remember and honor his memory. >> in terms of the public response, how would you describe it there across africa? you are obviously in nairobi. he wasn't just a south african figure. he was an african figure, a global figure as well. how are people outside the country remembering him? >> reporter: he was an african-ite. i learned about desmond tutu in civics class in primary school. he was a giant in south african
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history, not just south africa. there are buildings in nairobi, kenya, named after desmond tutu. that's the kind of figure, the kind of stature he had across this continent. also this is a man who was friends with the dalai lama, who was friends with american presidents, bill clinton and the obamas and jill and joe biden who had really relationships around the world and was revered for both his sense of humor but also his moral clarity. that's why he won the nobel prize back in 1984, a full decade before apartheid fell in south africa. and more recently in 2009, president obama awarded him the presidential medal of freedom. >> some of the people have been allowed to pay their respects there near the coffin, which he requested. larry, thank you for joining us from nairobi. now a new report says elton john was nearly barred from
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performing a reworked rendition of his song for diana princess of wales. the saxophone player was on stand by just in case. a personal appeal from the dean of westminster buckingham palace resolved the dispute. the song was originally written in memory of marilyn monroe. 2021 has been a roller coaster year for the british royal family from mourning the loss of prince philip to allegations of racism. here are key moments from the british monarchy this year. for the royal family, 2021 was punctuated by loss. >> in announcing the death of my beloved philip, i have drawn great comfort and warm affection to the many tributes of his life and work. >> husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, the man she described as her strength and stay no longer by her side after 73 years of personal and
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professional partnership. >> fire. >> one image lingers from his funeral that spoke not just to her loss, but to that of so many others who left on their own because of covid. but it didn't slow her down. the queen back at her desk while she was still officially in mourning. until doctors advised her to rest in october, following a hospital stay, and preliminary investigations into an undisclosed condition. later compounded by a back sprain. >> it's an extremely punishing schedule for someone who is 95. i think no one would criticize her at all. and everyone would support her in stepping back and doing a bit less. >> she gave up international travel some years ago so prince charles represented her in barbados in november for a ceremony to replace her as head of state by a locally appointed president. it marked the end of 396 years
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of british rule, and a long awaited reconciliation with the island's colonial past. >> the appalling atrocity of slavery which forever stains our history, the people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude. >> it wasn't the first time that race came up as an issue for the family in 2021. >> concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born. >> prince harry and meghan, the duchess of sussex were not just leaving their royal roles, but telling all to oprah winfrey on why they felt the need to get out. >> it raised very serious allegations of racism, but also of wrists within the family, difficulties between prince harry and his father, the differences between him and his brother. it really was a very -- opening up of things traditionally kept quiet by the royal family.
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>> the queen issued a statement acknowledging the allegations and committing to address them, whilst also pointedly noting that recollections may vary. the rest of the family characteristically kept calm and carried on until william was fired an unsolicited question. >> are you a racist family, sir? >> no, we are very much not racist. >> the queen's youngest son was questioned, but wouldn't be drawn into the saga. >> we've all been there before. we've had excessive intrusion and sensationalized and we've dealt with it in different ways. we wish them the very best. >> the palace has continued to distance itself from prince andrew publicly, pursued by the fbi in recent years for sexual abuse allegations, a excused of virginia due fray claiming the royal assaulted her when she was 17. prince andrew has repeatedly denied all wrongdoing.
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regardless of how the impending trial unfolds, royal commentators expect the institution to survive intact. >> i think the royal brand has taken quite a battering in 2021 from all sides. you know, we've had the fallout from the oprah interview. we've had prince andrew's ongoing legal issues. these are all things that, you know, really should have dented the monarchy, but i think the key players have just quite simply kept calm and carried on and done some really good things. >> in february 2022, the queen will celebrate her pattern of jubilee, the only monarch to do so, having first ascended the throne 70 years ago in 1952. the firm is keane to focus attention on that and the queen's entire reign rather than a tumultuous 12 months. the british royal mint has unveiled two new coins to
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commemorate, the pence coin engraved images that will mark 70 years of the monarch's reign. singer vera lynn and the 2022 commonwealth games in birmingham will be available. the jubilee coins go on sale next thursday. still to come, severe weather returns in the southern u.s.. the latest forecast is next. unlike ordinary memory supplements, neuriva plus fuels six key indicators of brain performance. more brain performance? yes, please! neuriva. think bigger. do you struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep? qunol sleep formula combines 5 key nutrients that can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up refreshed. the brand i trust is qunol. blendjet's holiday sale is on now for the #1 gift this holiday season, the blendjet 2 portable blender.
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we've been tracking severe weather across parts of the southeastern u.s. including in alabama. the town of winfield suffering what they call significant damage to the downtown area. fueled by significantly warm temperatures, cnn's pedram javaheri has the details. >> max, upwards of 25 or so weather reports, but the vast majority related to straight line winds. that was across the southern united states in the past few hours. we do expect conditions to quiet down for at least one day, that being thursday, and then moving ahead to friday. severe threat does return to the same areas here. we'll watch it carefully friday
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night into saturday. 8 million people under threat of severe weather. little rock, memphis and nashville where straight line winds once again and hail could be a major threat. look at jackson. 78 degrees, 57 is normal for this time of year. atlanta climbs yet again back up to 70 degrees. 54 is normal this time of year. even houston, almost a 20-degree departure from the norm. and laredo, texas, climbing up to 90, when 67 is more seasonal. but that isn't the big story across the eastern united states. the west, we've talked about the significant amounts of snow. even the pacific northwest yet again, seattle tapping into snow showers in the final days of 2021. but really the bigger story i think for our friends in southern california has got to be the amount of rainfall in place there from los angeles towards san diego county. some of these areas, 200% of normal for the month of december. and december wraps up on a soggy note yet again on thursday. temperatures only about 50 or so degrees in los angeles and areas
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across this region, which is, of course, very much unseasonably cold. you'll notice it does moderate out just a little bit and dry weather into 2022. but still looks to remain average. looking to new year's eve, trouble spots around the four corners region, tennessee valley, that's where a few showers are possible. beyond that, not a bad set up. new york city 51 degrees around midnight. cloudy conditions and winds going to be general on the light side. temperatures pretty impressive. in houston, up about 80 degrees warmer, climbing up into the lower 80s. send it back to you. >> thanks, pedram. now, nasa has some ambitious plans for the new year including a closer look at the asteroid belt between mars and jupiter. the u.s. space agency plans to launch the psyche spacecraft in august. it will check out the psyche asteroid which is thought to be rich in iron and nickel and has
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a theoretical value of, get this, 10,000 quadrillion dollars. i don't know how they work that out. the space rock could be left over from the early days of our solar system and could help explain how our corner of the milky way was created. it will take psyche four years to reach the asteroid. now, we're out of luck. viewers in the u.s., a huge lottery jackpot is up for grabs after wednesday's powerball drawing failed to produce a winner. the top prize now goes to a whopping $483 million, would you believe. the next chance to win with a $2 bet is on saturday. thanks for joining us here on "cnn newsroom." i'm max foster in london. "early start" is up next with christine romans and laura jarrett. have a happy new year.
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good morning, everyone. welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. this is "early start." i'm laura jarrett. christine has the day off. it is thursday, december 30th. it's 5:00 a.m. here in new york. so, as we get closer to bringing in a new year, the risk calculations that we all make every day when it comes to covid are frankly getting more complicated and that's particularly true when it comes to front line workers. there's been growing pushback from some about these new cdc guidelines shortening the amount of time you should stay isolated at home if you test positive for


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