tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN December 31, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PST
hello and a warm welcome to viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm paula newton. coming up on "cnn newsroom," we're seeing pandemic records ahead of the new year in the u.s. and parts of europe as hospitalizations for children soar. i'll speak with a professor this hour. plus -- >> it's devastating to see this in this time of year, and just never imagined having this happen in december. >> a wildfire emergency unfolding at this hour in
colorado. flames, fanned by hurricane-force winds. we'll take you to the scene in weather center for detail. and president biden's phone call with vladimir putin. the warnings they gave heech ot each other and how they're responding. cities right around the globe are preparing to welcome in the new year, but for many the celebrations are set aside as an explosion of new covid infections takes hold on several continents. now, the u.s. has set a third straight record with average daily cases now topping 355,000. john hopkins reports, meantime that 650,000 cases were reported in the united states on thursday alone. we should point out, of course, that number could be inflated
because of reporting over the holidays. this map gives a sense how fast it's spreading. most states showing a 50% increase or more in cases in the past week compared to the previous week. all but two now reporting some type of an increase. now, more children, meantime in a worrying development, are spending time in the hospital with covid, and that is more than at any time since the start of this pandemic. close to 400 admitted now each and every day. a source tells cnn the food and drug administration will authorize pfizer vaccine boosters for children aged 12 to 15 in the coming days. cnn's alexander field has mow now from new york. >> this is probably not the time to have big new year's celebrations. really dial things back. >> reporter: a new year bringing in new covid records. as for a big party in new york's
times square? >> we're in the public health crisis of our lifetimes. frankly, it should have been cha chanceled. >> reporter: but the ball will drop and without ll cool j who called off his performance testing positive for covid. >> outdoor only, masks required, vaccinated but want to show we're moving forward and new york city is fighting our way through this. >> reporter: the city insisting it can party safely even while navigating staffing shortages affecting ems, the fire department and the subway. >> it's a real, a real issue. both from a hospital standpoints and from ems, bringing patients into the health care system, as well as the health care worker schs. not just in new york but around the nation. >> reporter: atlanta is canceling its annual new year's celebration of the peach drop. in washington, d.c., the smithsonian temporarily shutting down five of its museum.
another 1,000 flights canceled today with airlines still crippled by staffing shortages and jetblue canceling nearly 1,300 flights through the middle of january. testing lines still stunningly long. the pressure rising for hospitals across the country. ten states and washington, d.c. are seeing some of the highest hospitalization numbers in the pandemic. in georgia, six major health systems report collectively seeing a 100% to 200% invees in hospitalizations. unvaccinated most likely hopsized but admissions now at a record high, vast majority of children admitted are unvaccinated. they're small member numbers vaccinated. the majority unvaccinated. this increases your chances for hospitalization significantly. >> reporter: 12 to 15-year-olds could be eligible for the shot
if the fda signs off. the same time students are heading back to the classroom. after the holidays and amid a surge the likes of which we've never seen. princeton university already announcing their pushing back return to campus by one week. a new warning from the cdc for people to avoid cruise travel, despite their vaccination status. the cdc raising the risk level of cruising to a four. highest level. they are citing increase in cases aboard ships since omicron was first identified. in new york, alexandra field, cnn. we are tracking a lot of new developments on this right around the globe at this hour. canada's most populous province, ontario, offering has fourth covid vaccine dose to its most vulnerable residents. those who qualify can get it just three months after their third dose. meantime, the uk, greece, ireland, italy and spain all among the european countries reporting their highest daily
case count ever. a new study estimating that 75% of people in the uk experiencing cold-like symptoms, likely have covid. paris is now requiring people to wearing a masks even outdoors. the government there says omicron is now officially the dominant variant. sydney, australia, meantime, preparing for its famous new years fireworks as cases there, though, continue to skyrocket. spectator will need tickets to see the show from most vantage points. rome, athens, berlin and london, among many european cities that canceled fireworks displays this year over covid concerns. now, we head live to paris, and our jim bittermann, tracking all of these developments. just absolutely sobering developments end of 2021. in france there, for instance, where you are. two record-setting days. over 200,000 cases each and every day. the french government chipping
away at some freedoms. masks now, even outdoors in paris, right? how are europeans and specifically french citizens taking all of this in? >> reporter: with a lot of resignation. in fact one of the newspaper headlines here, writers this morning said this year in fact, celebration rhymes with resignation basically, because there's nothing that we'll can do about the spike in the, spike in the number of infections. except for follow the rules which is to say, put on masks and get vaccinated and the rest of it. one of the things you see, this morning all around, people wearing masks on the streets again. as you mentioned. this hasn't been seen since back in june when that mask mandate was dropped. that was a mandate that started beginning of last year. so once again it's returned to the same kind of thing seeing beginning of last year. kind of thing that is kind of taking place all over europe. european countries you
mentioned, greece, for example, closing restaurants and bars at midnight. also restrictions on the number of people that can be around a table, and how many people have to be around a table as opposed to standing. in austria, perhaps one of the most severe places in terms of regulations around europe, closing bars and restaurants two hours before midnight, paula. >> yeah. obviously, we thought these restrictions would be a thing of the past. they are not. jim bittermann there covering all of it for us. appreciate it. simon clark is an associate professor in cellular microbiology university of redding and joins me now. live, not that long ago we were still being told this would now become a pandemic of the unvaccinated. that is not turning out to be true, and the main problem is infection. that many people are susceptible to this virus even if it does not make them severely ill. when you look at these case counts, they're absolutely breathtaking. what is it about this variant
that now seems to have made it one of the most infectious viruses we have ever seen? >> well, strictly speaking what we're seeing is the ability of this variant to grow its numbers of infections very quickly. we don't actually know for sure, that it's more effective at jumping from person to person. so exactly why we're seeing this, this -- this very rapid increase. what is it about the biology of this particular variant, i think we're still not sure about. we don't really know. it might just be that it grows in number very quickly in people. seen evidence of that in the lab but it is entirely possible it's just more effective at jumping from person to person, and that could be all sorts of reasons. maybe the dose that causes the infection needs to be lower? maybe it hangs around in the environment a bit longer? there are all sorts of reasons why it could be.
>> you know, many jurisdictions are struggling really even to diagnose the cases. rapid tests, pcr. tough to know at this point especially when you look at the speck cited in the uk. perhaps 75% of everyone who's gotten sniffles likely has covid. have twe thrown in the towel on testing? >> if we can't do accurate testing. at least in the uk, the situation the system is saturated in count. really, numbers become almost meaningless. we'll get in this country, at least, newspapers, hanging flagsous, saying that the infections aren't going up anymore, when in fact what we may well be seeing is just inability to test those people. so, in fact, numbers could
stilling going up, going up by quite a lot and we won't know about it. so this sort of losing control of the system means we don't have accurate data. >> flying blind if you will. preliminary research, and it is preliminary, replacing delta variant as the dominant variant, omicron. this is also preliminary. it does seem to lead to less consequences. in your opinion, could this ep ed wave of infections actually usher in a virus that is waeake, less dangerous and will remain that way? >> all throughout this, nearly two years, hearing how this is inevitable and how what happens with viruses. even heard it's the desks of viruses. absolutely not. it's something that can happen. virus ability to cause disease can go up as well as down. the idea that we're heading in
one direction and that it will help turn around, cannot turn around and become more disease-causing in some respect, is nonsense. they can happen in either direction, and i fear probably will. it is not inevitable that this it thing will become some sort of common cold. in fact, we have no evidence the previous common colds we have cause diseases like this so i don't see why we would expect it to be the case here. >> i don't have a lot of time but really want to ask you this. in south africa right now we saw that steady climb of cases and now it's starting to go down quite rapidly. is there any sense that could also happen in other countries? >> that could happen, yes. south africa has a younger population in than places like uk and in late spring, early summer, whereas we are in winter. it's possible but we don't know. it may be a different, a different picture here. >> okay.
simon clarke, a lot of good information there. i wish a little better news. happy new year to you and yours. >> indeed, you, too. >> thanks very much. appreciate it. now, we will have more coverage from around the world a bit later in this hour. live in china, 13 million people at this hour have spent more than a week under strict lockdown after an outbreak in the city of xi'an and our reporter takes us inside factories trying to make the united states a. e! powerhouse. that's all ahead. we go to colorado now and a life-threatens swas situation a wildfires destroy hundreds of homes. boulder county, residents forced to leave. some able to return. that's good news. at least six people, though, injured. the flames seemingly came out of nowhere spreading quite quickly, driven by tinder dry air and
hurricane-force winds. what it looks like from the air. a passenger flying out of denver international airport captured this view from the airplane. isn't that terrifying? looking at it from there. now, this is the view from broomfield police department patrol officers showing a line of homes engulfed in the flames in the soutown of superior. their facebook page, our thoughts are with our neighbors tonight who lost their homes and businesses. we continue to assist our law enforcement and fire partners as necessary. we want to go right now to cnn meteorologist with the latest for us. came up quickly. looking at posts on social media. people really had to leave in a panic and you can see why, with over 500,000 homes destroyed. >> exactly, paula. you know, this really speaks to the strength of wind. we talked about how these were hurricane-force winds. these are numbers. over 100. in fact, one 115.
that's the same as a category 3 hurricane. just wrap your head around that for a second, and this speaks out quickly those flames once they develop, raced across areas, as you said, people had very little time to get themselves to a safe place or to try to get out of harm's way. these winds came racing out of the mountains, much the same way the santa ana winds do and reached the foothills accelerating, and the reason they were so fast and also dealing with drought conditions in the state of colorado. the entire state under drought. think about that. 100% under drought. the areas of red, denver, boulder, some of the highest levels of drought. denver didn't get snow until december 10th and only 3/10 of an inch and the last six months just over an inch of precipitation overall allowing these conditions. a perfect storm, if you will, to let the fires spread once they began to get going.
the winds will begin to die down. this is the forecast. disappear, good news, but snow is moving in. a weather whiplash for people in the denver area. watch the flakes starting to fly out to the west, and this weather system coming out of the rockies is already dumping heavy snow in salt lake city. the snow will arrive in the denver-boulder area, 9:00, 10:00 their time and continue right on into early saturday morning. how much will they get? anywhere from four to ten inches in boulder and perhaps at least that much in denver, over a foot further out to the west in the mountains. talk about a wet weather, paula. 44 in denver today. 36 in the morning before dropping to 5 degrees by early on saturday. it's just incredible to see all of these rapid changes in the weather. >> yeah. and those changes proving to unfortunately be dangerous. gene norman, thank you. appreciate it. colorado governor declaring
a state of emergency, meantime, because of those fast-moving wildfires. at least 1,600 acres burned so far in populace areas. >> this area for those who don't know this area of boulder county is right in and around suburban subdevelopments, stores. it's like the neighborhood that you live in. it's like the neighborhood that any of us live in. and so 1,600 acres near a population center can be and is in this case absolutely devastating. >> yeah. right about that. think about it. over 500 homes already destroyed. thousands of residents fleeing in a hurry. tinder-dry conditions and hurricane-force winds fed the flames, of course, and the national weather service clocked gusts up to 150 miles per hour. boulder county emergency services says this weather is unusual for this time of year. >> it's very concerning. we have very dry conditions here, and today you mentioned,
hurricane-force winds. so any fire can spread incredibly quickly. unusual about this fire is it spread quickly in very populated areas. we know we have probably hundreds of homes and businesses that have been consumed by fire. cannot damage assess with the situation being as volatile as it is, and we are encouraging anybody in harm's way to evacuate to nearby evacuation centers. >> good news here. winds are not as strong as they were a few hours ago, and heavy snow is forecast to roll in, which will hopefully help douse those flames, and we will continue to have coverage for you on those colorado fires in the next hour. now, joe biden and vladimir putin lay out their positions in a high-stakes phone call just weeks before both nations hold diplomatic talks over the crisis in ukraine. details ahead. plus, the supreme court could decide a major case on presidential authority.
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against the backdrop of russian forces massing along the ukrainian border u.s. president joe biden spoke by phone with his russian counter part nearly an hour thursday at vladimir putin's request. both sides appeared to stick with the positions on ukraine they've already stated publicly, but it did a lot for the two leaders to speak one-on-one ahead of high diplomatic talks next month in geneva. cnn international editor nic robertson is standing by in moscow. as usual the duelling readouts didn't say much. neither described any real progress, but do you think both sides at least now have a clearer picture how they can get to some kind of common ground or resolution? >> reporter: that does seem to be an understanding, at least on the u.s. side, that this issed receipt rec readout from the u.s. side, both feel areas of commonality, agreements perhaps can be made but areas where there will be
disagreement and the key to answering what happens next is, what are those areas of disagreement? because putin is looking for this absolute clarity about nato's intentions for ukraine. you know, president biden laid out the scenario of de-escalate, and we can continue and have a productive diplomatic track. that diplomatic track is open, but the entry level for that is de-escalation. and the alternative to de-escalation is -- is sanctions. military, economic, financial. that's the kremlin's readout and they heard that message loud and clear. putin's response to that was, okay. you put those sanctions on us and that's going to cause a huge rupture in bilateral relations, calamities for both generations felt for generations. when it comes to de-escalation, russia's perspective, they said, look. we will do with our troopers what the united states would do with u.s. troops if russia was
close to the u.s. border. so there's no indication that either side is backing down at all here. >> yeah. and it does seem as if the solution is further in the offing, and that they will continue talking. i want to ask you, though. putin normally on this issue have backing of majority of russians. how are the latest developments playing there? >> reporter: putin has huge influence over the russian media, and, therefore, perceptions in russia, of what russia is trying to achieve, of what he's trying to achieve, and also been able and demonstrated that very recently, to sort of crush human rights groups. to crush their voices, if you will. to stifle the voices of opposition leaders like alexei navalny. so there really isn't, you know, an alternate loud voice on the streets of russia to say, hey,
president putin, you're getting this wrong. i think we have an echo of this today. sergey lavrov hugely experienced diplomat saying we're not going to allow these talks with nato and the united states to drag on. not going to essentially let them filibuster this out. russia's absolutely keeping up the pressure and absolutely keeping up the narrative at home, and this was another thing sergey lavrov said to state media today, that it's the west that's the aggressor, the west increasing its troop presence in ukraine and we have to do something about it. you know, that's the dominant message here. >> it is a message that does resonate with many russians there. nic robertson in russia, thank you for that. an investigation into the january 6th insurrection, asking the supreme court to allow release of hundreds of white house documents. former president trump trying to keep secret more than 700 pages
related to that day. supreme court has yet to respond in the case. cnn's justice correspondent jessica schneider has the latest on that. >> reporter: it is now a waiting game to see how the supreme court will handle the request from former president trump to take up his case to keep his white house records secret and out of the hands of the january 6th select committee. lawyers for the committee and for the biden administration filed their replies on thursday urging the supreme court to reject the case and allow trump's record handed over. house citing overwhelming need to get more than 700 pages of white house records saying their interests should outweigh the former president's interests, especially because the current president, joe biden, also favors handing over the documents to the committee. of course, two lower courts ruled against trump, but those documents are still being blocked from the committee. that's pending the supreme court's decision on whether they'll even hear trump's case. the documents would be significant to the
investigation. they contain call logs, visitor logs from the white house on and around january 6th plus drafts of speeches and handwritten notes that could provide insight how the president was reacting during the capitol attack. lawyers for the house committee asking the supreme court to decide quickly, by mid-january, on whether they'll even hear the case, or possibly grant trump's request to keep blocking those documents, but so far, no word from the supreme court on just how quickly they might make a decision. jessica schneider, cnn, washington. now the situation in china is growing more urgent as the city remains in strict lockdown. people going desperate just to get basic provisions. a live report from beijing justified ahead. plus an exclusive report on a push to make the u.s. a little more self-reliant when it comes to protective gear. like masks and gloves.
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coronavirus cases driven by the omicron variant skyrocketing across the united states. new infections at an all-time high averaging 355,000 per day. especially troubling is the number of children admitted to hospitals, pediatric hospitalizations in the u.s. are highest they've ever been over this entire pandemic with the average number of daily admissions up more than 66% from the previous week. a source now tells cnn the u.s. food and drug administration is expected to announce kids between ages 12 and 15 will now be eligible for the pfizer booster shot in the coming days. local officials, meantime, in the chinese city of xi'an say
they are locked in a life and death battle with the coronavirus, and as the strict lockdown drags on into its second week, many say they're unable to get the most basic of necessities. things like food. for more on that we want to bring in cnn's reporter who joins us now from beijing, and this lockdown is severe enough, but in terms of it accomplishing what it needs to accomplish, is it doing that? and are residents really getting wary? especially when they don't even have a reliable source of food? >> reporter: that's right, paula. why even local authorities at least acknowledged the severe impact they're increasingly harsh lockdown measures on the local population. remember, for days we've talked about a growing sense of frustration and anger from residents about the lack of access to groceries and medicines and also a growing
problem of their ability to seek medical attention on non-covid-related issues such as pregnant women needing to go to the hospital. that's why, as you mentioned. you see increasingly officials as well as state media emphasizing they're redoubling efforts to ensure supply and distribution of those daily necessity items. by getting shipments from other provinces and coordinating better within the city of xi'an for deliveries of those items. they have now assigned hundreds of local officials to those tasks and also created hundreds of chair groups on social media platforms to ensure smoother communications between the government and its citizens. still we see some citizens airing grievances online attacked by trolls. definitely you see this intensifying effort by the government both to contain the virus but also control the narrative. one thing is clear, paula, as you said. the worst is not over? et for this city of 13 million
residents. paula? >> yeah, another tough week ahead for them. appreciate that update. now britain's prime minister is haili ing success of his nation's vaccine program over the last year. in his new year's message, boris johnson praised those who answered the call to get the covid-19 shots during these challenging 12 months. >> and i want to speak directly to all those who have yet to get fully vaccinated. the people who think the disease can't hurt them. look at the people going into hospital now. that could be you. look at the intensive care units, and the miserable, needless suffering of those who did not get their booster. that could be you. >> now, mr. johnson is urging the unvaccinated to make getting the covid shot their new year's resolution. so 2022 will be a happy year for everyone. the pandemic cast an uncomfortable spotlight on the u.s. dependence on foreign imports relying on overseas
suppliers from masks to medical gowns and hospital gloves but a factory in illinois is among those hoping to change that. scott mclean following all this and, scott, make it at home seems like a mantra that's really worth it when it comes to supplies that arguably contribute to national security. has there been a change since the pandemic started? >> reporter: certainly, paula, the u.s. government sin vesting a lot of money to make the u.s. less reliant on asian. e! but there are also american companies who say they can make money without any government help. that's surprising's to make something like a nitro glove requires very expensive equipment and complex chemistry as well. there are now at least a dozen nitro glove factories popping up across the united states, and all but one are starting from scratch. literally hot off the production
line. the very first hand molds dipped in nitro. e result, med-grade gloves made in america. this is important because for decades imported from chief suppliers almost entirely in asia and it took a pandemic to start to change that. this businessman felt compelled to act. >> we've just watched hundreds of thousands, more than a half million americans die, and many of them for no reason. i think bad decisions have been made in american manufacturing. specifically for critical assets like class one medical devices. the decision has been made to make sure that never happens again. >> reporter: when the pandemic exploded the nitro glove industry plagueed by price gouging, fraud and scams. cnn investigation found counterfeit substandard even dirty, used medical gloves imported to the u.s. by the tens of millions. pre-pandemic only one nitro glove producer in the u.s.
in fayette, alabama, but the company struggled to get even the u.s. government to buy its gloves because they cost around twice the price. that's because around 10% of the world's medical gloves are made in china. 20% in thailand, and 65% in malaysia, where the u.s. government only recently lifted an import ban on the world's largest producer after finding evidence of forced labor earlier this year. how do you compete with slave labor? >> the technology allows me to do it in a way i can compete with even the dirtiest user of slave labor. you want to be a customer of a slave labor company? i don't. >> reporter: you couldn't do it 30 years? >> never 30 years ago because the technology didn't exist. the most important thing you need to see is this -- >> reporter: rhadigan a former cable news anchor and ceo of the u.s. medical glove company committed to paying workers at least $25 per hour plus health care coverage and plans for free on-site child care. currently there be about 100 of
them now assembling new lines in ovens using all american-made parts. that is a critical distinction between this company and others. the start-up housed in a sprawling former caterpillar factory backed by a $63 million advance purchase order from the u.s. government. all told, washington spending $1.7 billion to help american companies manufacture. ppe at home. and how depent the u.s. is on foreign soerss a vulnerability in public health emergencies. another american start-up, usa gloves outside houston, created by former importers who found it almost impossible to buy gloves from aboard. they don't have any government investment yet, but once the machines are finally up and running next month, they hope to turn a profit from private sales. even with higher pricing than asian brands. >> hospitals, clinics even end
users are willing to pay premium so we're prepared for future pandemics. >> reporter: it's still early days, but experts say it is essential that the u.s. makes more of its ppe at home. the question is -- >> whether people will remember this and be willing to pay that premium in the medium tomorrow or just a very short-term memory and soon people will go back to thinking who's my lowest price supplier. >> reporter: that might ultimately determine the success or failure of these new enterprises. whether they're expensive experiments or beginning of a new era reducing america's dependence on factories from the other side of the world. no one is complaining about u.s. government investment in domestic ppe production, but no one we interviewed for this story thinks that is a viable long-term solution either. the medical supply chain expert you heard from in the story thinks that the government instead ought to be negotiating better trade deals to make sure that standards and wages in asia
are comparable to standards and wages in the united states so that american factories can compete on a level playing field. meantime, though, dylan rhadigan is trying to send a message to large multi-national companies outside of the ppe sector that take advantage of cheap labor in asia. as we know, paula, far too many of those to even begin to list. he says if you can make money in the united states, making something like a nitro glove, literally only worth a few pennies, shue have no problem making bigger ticket items like shoes, tablets, phones and still treat employees very well. but, of course, rhadigan has yet to prove he can actually make money and doesn't expect to sell his first shipment of gloves until february at the earliest. >> interesting. it is a tall order, but i'm glad you pointed out just the issues with, for instance, slave labor, and really trying to really authenticate where any of these gloves with this medical
equipment comes from. thank you for that update. appreciate it. coming up, a trucker no longer facing a life time in jail. what the governor of colorado has to say about his sentence ahead. plus a shooting spree in the denver area spelled out apparently in black and white, police say, before that suspect went on his rampage he wrote books about it. stay asleep longer, and wake up refreshed. the brand i trust is qunol.
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reduced the prison sentence of a truck driver by literally a century from 110 years to 10. the governor called the original sentence highly atypical and unjust, adding the driver was not blameless. now, that truck driver found guilty of multiple charges after an accident in 2019 led to a fiery 28-vehicle pileup that left 4 people dead. he told investigators the brakes
of this tractor trailer failed while traveling 85 miles per hour. the case drew national attention and with celebrities calling for a lesser penalty and millions signing a petition to ask the governor to reduce that sentence. also in colorado, investigators say the suspect in monday's shooting rampage in denver left clear red flags. they say linden mcleod left messages around the city before police killed him. according to investigators he dropped clear hints what he was going to do in books he had written. omar hjimenez has more. >> reporter: days after a deadly shooting spree across the denver area monday, the ongoing investigation moves from what happened to why. >> this individual was known to law enforcement. he was on our radar. there were two previous
investigations, and neither of these investigations resulted in state or federal filings. >> reporter: the shooter was lyndon james mcleod targeted victims and in a series of books foreshadowed what happened. wrote under a pseudonym but used real names and places for some victims. in one book wrote about a character named lyndon mcleod specifically mentioning a condo building overlooking the park in denver and in police gear crash a man named michael swinyard's poker night and execute him for betrayal and take everyone's cash. 67-year-old michael swinyard was killed in monday's shooting at that same address. according to a memo from the building manager, obtained by cnn, the shooter arrived a the building impersonating a police officer. in another book one character says, look, i killed alecia cardnos as were el.
44-year-old alecia among the first killed. owner of a tattoo shop. >> a real leader in her community. a lot of people looked to her for advice and information about tattooing. it's -- the world we live it, it's just horrible. >> reporter: in total five people killed in about an hour. three worked in tattoo shops. shootings spanned multiple locations starting in denver before police tracked the gunman to nearby lakewood where he entered a hotel shooting and killing 28-year-old sarah steck who was working at the front desk. not long after, more shots fired. this time hitting lakewood police agent ashley faris, according to police while on the ground wounded able to return fire and kill the shooter. >> she was able to not only save others from this terrible tragedy, but also neutralized the threat and i can't say
enough about the courage and bravery shown by that lakewood police agent. >> reporter: that police agent ashley faris is expected to be okay and recovering at a local hospital. as for the investigation why the shooter carried this out, police will also likely be looking at his social media, which included a wide array of extremist views on the role of women, war, guns and more. omar jimenez, cnn. now, believed deeply in the power of forgiveness and helped heal many wounds of apartheid. now south africans are gathering to say good-bye and thank you to desmond tutu.
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don't cancel or let your policy lapse without finding out what it's worth. visit coventrydirect.com to find out if your policy qualifies. or call the number on your screen. coventry direct, redefining insurance. in cape town, south africa, the man who proudly called his country the rainbow nation is now lying in state. the second day mourners are allowed to visit the coffin of anti-apartheid icon desmond tutu and pay their respects. his funeral held saturday. the arch lovingly nicknamed
wanted the cheapest coffin, most simple one available, according to his foundation, and no lavish touches. our david mackenzie is with us from cape town and he certainly would be very interested to see as he would say the rainbow, right? the spectrum of people coming to see him. looking at live pictures there. i'm struck how they're really coming from all walks of life and heartfelt tributes they feel they really need to make. >> reporter: that's right, paula, and a long line stretching down the company gardens here in cape town as it's called. coming in to pay their respects. you see flowers behind me, it is people from all walks of life. one woman came from more than a mile away, got up very early and said she had to be here because of wah archbishop toutu meant t you and to the country.
written on that wall, hands, including one from clearly tourists with the hotel note pad saying, thank you for bringing light to the world. this man had an impact here in south africa, of course, with transition to democracy, often preaching in the cathedral behind me against the ravages of the apartheid government, and then a moral voice for the country after apartheid ended. you know, i passed through that church to see, to pay respects to the man. it's a simple pine coffin, as you say. a small bouquet of karn apgscar from the family of the tutus. no great pomp and circumstance but certainly an opportunity to reflect. i asked what's next to the dean of the cathedral? >> archbishop always striving for a better south africa, has his wish been fulfilled?
>> no. goodness is never complete. it's always a work in progress. he had moments of great disappointment and expressed it on various platforms including in our cathedral on many of times, but as he pointed also died at peace knows that he's not the last of the prophets. >> reporter: many of the people i've spoken to today, paula, have said they will miss that voice, the conscious of this nation and in many ways the world. also, worrying about the future of this country and what it will be like without a voice lie desmond tutu's. paula? >> yes, such a voice, and always remember his gregariousness. people will miss that as well, i'm sure. thank you for your company. i am paula newton. "early start" is next. stay with cnn.
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roof. more children in the hospital than ever before, but help is on the way. we'll tell you how. >> and a devastating end of the year around boulder, colorado. hurricane-force winds drive wildfires, torching hundreds of homes. good morning, everyone. it is friday, december 31st. happy new year's eve. it is 5:00 a.m. in new york. thank you for getting an early start with me. it is midnight in the tiny pa