Skip to main content

tv   Today  NBC  December 30, 2021 7:00am-9:00am PST

7:00 am
tune into nbc bay area and watch this. times square in new york. pete davidson and miley cyrus will be hosting live. watch the clock count down from the coziness of your couch. good morning guilty, a long awaited verdict in the ghislaine maxwell trial >> a unanimous jury has found ghislaine maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable >> bringing the highly scrutinized case to an end for now. jeffrey epstein's accuser reacting to the news overnight >> we were told constantly, you know, these people will never go to jail. they're too powerful, they're too rich >> we'll bring you an exclusive interview with one of them worst day ever a new covid record, half a
7:01 am
million cases in a single day as the cdc fights back against criticism for cutting down the isolation time line for people who test positive. we'll break down what you need to know. new year, same story, holiday travel still backed up many passengers still stranded >> we just want to get home. authorities now looking into how the attack happened and why the worker may face criminal charges this morning >> space race 2022 after an incredible year at first, the future of space exploration looks bright >> three, two, one we'll get a glimpse of the
7:02 am
global competition and the fascinating milestones ahead and jackpot, the prize is still up for grabs in 22 so will someone start the year off richer today, thursday december 30th, 2021 today, december 30th, 2021 >> announcer: from nbc news, this is "today" with savannah guthrie and hoda kotb live from studio 1-a in rockefeller plaza. >> and welcome to "today." thanks for joining us on this thursday morning i'm peter alexander here again with my weekend today cohost kristen welker savannah and hoda are off again today. 48 hours till the new year, but it would be a nice way to start the new year with half a billion dollars in your pocket if you win that lotto >> what do you say we go after the show and get a ticket.
7:03 am
it's a plan. >> get to the news breaking from overnight the u.s. has shattered a single-day case record again, nearly doubling the peak from a year a go. >> it comes as the world is set to celebrate new year's eve. as we said, the nearby preparations in times square well underway. so how have the recent surge in cases affect this year's festivities? we'll talk to new york city mayor bill de blasio who joins us live in just a few moments. >> we begin with the guilty verdict in the sex trafficking trial of ghislaine maxwell, the former girlfriend of disgraced financier jeffrey epstein, convicted for helping him to recruit, groom and abuse teenage girls for at least a decade. nbc's kathy park is outside the federal court house in new york this morning with more kathy, good morning. >> reporter: peter, good morning to you that's right ghislaine maxwell is waking back up in a prison cell this morning when the verdict was read, she sat still and stoic. this, after a near month long
7:04 am
trial filled with explicit and emotional testimony from her accusers this morning, ghislaine maxwell, the former jet setting companion of jeffrey epstein is waking up a convicted sex offender who could spend the rest of her life behind bars after five full days of deliberations, a jury found the 60-year-old socialite guilty of five out of six federal charges, including the most serious, sex trafficking of a minor >> a unanimous jury has found ghislaine maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable, facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children. >> reporter: the jury of six men and six women heard emotional and graphic testimony from four accusers who say maxwell groomed them for sexual abuse by epstein when they were just teenagers. the women also accusing maxwell sometimes of participating in the abuse herself, an allegation maxwell has denied after the verdict, annie farmer, one of the accusers, writing in
7:05 am
a statement, i am so relieved and grateful that the jury recognized a pattern of predatory behavior that maxwell engaged in for years i hope that this verdict brings solace to all who need it and demonstrates that no one is above the law. during the nearly month-long trial, prosecutors focused on placing maxwell at the center of epstein's sex trafficking ring between 1994 and 2004, calling her the key to the whole operation. their close relationship unveiled a new photos shown in court. the defense argued maxwell was a government scapegoat after epstein took his own life in 2019 in the manhattan jail cell, awaiting his own sex trafficking trial. saying in closing arguments, she's being tried here for being with jeffrey epstein maybe that was the biggest mistake of her life. but that was not a crime >> it's been a long time coming.
7:06 am
>> reporter: for virginia roberts giuffre, one of epstein and maxwell's accuser not part of the trafficking trial, the verdict was a step towards justice. >> we were told constantly, you know, these people will never go to jail. they're too powerful they're too rich we live in a day that it just goes to show this is not the end. this is just the beginning >> reporter: and in a statement issued last night, maxwell's family says that their legal team has already started the appeal process and added that they believe in maxwell's innocence. meanwhile, the judge in this trial has not yet set a date for maxwell's sentencing peter? >> kathy park in lower manhattan. kathy, thank you very much now to the very latest on covid, the world health organization says the state of covid vaccine around the globe is overwhelming, describing a tsunami of new casesbu t there is some good news. officials here in the u.s. are
7:07 am
cautiously optimistic that omicron may be less severe and lead to fewer hospitalizations than previous variants nbc's sam brock has been covering this for us and has more this morning. sam, good morning to you >> reporter: kristen, good morning. let's start right now with breaking news with j & j that found it was effective offering 80% for those that mixed and matched. that said, kristen, we are looking at eye popping numbers across the country nearly 50,000 infectionsn i florida alone yesterday. half a million for the u.s the country is in the midst of an omicron title wave the number of new cases nearly 300,000 a day, crushing the previous high water mark on wednesday, the u.s. breaking its single-day record with almost 500,000 cases, nearly double the peak figures from last winter. the cdc is on the defensive, explaining why it slashed isolation guidelines for infected individuals from ten days down to five, if symptoms have fully disappeared followed by five days of strict mask wearing around others.
7:08 am
>> by the time five days of isolation has occurred, you probably have 85 to 90% of all of your transmission potential behind you while you've been in isolation. >> reporter: the cdc facing some backlash from those who say the decision was driven more by getting people back to work than the science. york city's ems workers are out sick still, there are some encouraging signs. >> many people with this newronc infections. >> reporter: while new covid-19 cases shot up 60% in the last week, hospitalizations rose just 14%, and the average number of daily deaths actually dropped by 7%. but the sheer volume of infections is overwhelming hospitals. 13,000 national guard troops have been deployed in nearly
7:09 am
every state to join front line health care workers as alarm bells blair in europe. >> i'm highly concerned that omicron being more transmissible, circulating at the same time as delta, is leading to a tsunami of cases. >> reporter: experts say europe's trends tend to mirror what we see here. >> we are probably in store for at least four weeks, maybe even longer, of a significant surge in cases here in the united states. >> reporter: and e.r. physicians say the best way to avoid the hospital, get vaccinated. >> some even ask if they can be vaccinated tonight, but i'll have to let them know that it's too late. >> reporter: in a positive development right now with massive testing lines that we've seen around the country, the fda announcing two over the counter testing kits have been approved hope flip expanding access for people searching store shelves. federal officials say they are a good tool, but pcr tests are still more effective, especially with omicron. kristen, back to you. >> all right, sam brock. thank you. the surge in covid cases means this new year's eve may look a lot like it did last year, with some major cities
7:10 am
cancelling events altogether. new york city mayor bill de blasio is joining us in just a moment to talk about what to expect in times square tomorrow night. but first, nbc's jacob soboroff is there for us this morning. jacob, good morning. >> reporter: peter, kristen, good morning to you. the daily covid positivity rate in new york city is over 22%, but that is not stopping. outgoing mayor bill de blasio from holding a modified celebration here in times square to ring in 2022. times square placing the finishing touches on its new year's celebrations. >> happy new year! yeah! >> reporter: and even if the welcome to 2022 party will be scaled back, tourists are still excited for the experience. >> we made the plans when things seemed like they were slowing down. and so we kind of just kept it and took our precautions. >> reporter: the famous ball is in place and wednesday saw a reversal for confetti.
7:11 am
these two handfuls a small preview of the 3,000 pounds that will rain down on 15,000 vaccinated and masked attendees, roughly a quarter of the crowd that normally gathers here. chicago moving ahead with its festivities, moving it to the river to alleviate crowding. other major cities are scrapping their celebrations. atlanta, los angeles and san francisco canceled their large-scale events and up the coast in seattle, the space needle fire works will explode over empty streets. as crowds won't be allowed to gather near the landmark to watch. the celebrations across the globe will look a little different. while sydney, australia, plans to keep up its major fire works across the world, we won't see them light up the skies above paris, berlin, athens or rome, so what can you do? ask for smaller gatherings with friends and family where you know the status of attendees. >> 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
7:12 am
strongly recommend that this year we do not do that. >> reporter: so if you're around strangers, maybe save that midnight kiss for ringing in 02023. hopefully. guys, attendees here in times square are going to witness something truly historic. the incoming mayor, mayor eric adams will be sworn in after the ball drops as the 110th mayor of new york. he'll have to get to work on issue number one, covid. peter, kristen, i'll see you in just a little bit. >> we'll see you in the studio shortly. mayor de blasio is the mayor for two more days. he approved keeping times square open to the public to watch the iconic ball drop on new year's eve just as the number of new covid cases breaks new records. mayor de blasio, good morning. happy almost new year's eve to you. >> good morning, kristen.
7:13 am
it's going to be a great new year's. we're looking forward to 2022 and getting past the covid era. >> that's for sure. let me ask you about your decision to have the celebration, the ball drop. it is scaled back. there are going to be about 15,000 people, about a quarter of what was initially planned. but given that new york is yet again the epicenter, given that some local officials are calling for you to cancel the in-person event altogether, why not scale back that event even further >> look, i don't believe in shutdowns. we have to fight our way through covid. and the way to do it is vaccination. we have the strongest vaccine mandates in the country, and now 91% of all new york city adults that had at least one dose of the vaccine, so shutdowns are not the answer the answer is get people vaccinated this event is vaccination-only everyone is going to be -- it's outdoors vaccination only, masks required, socially distanced
7:14 am
but we want to show that we're moving forward, and we want to show the world that new york city is fighting our way through this it's really important to not give up in the face of this. >> mayor de blasio, just to put a fine point on it, are there any discussions about scaling back the in-person event further or cancelling it outright? >> no, kristen, this is a decision we made with our health care team. and all of those layers of protection -- we said it would be vaccinated folks only and outdoors now we added the masks, the distancing, our health care leadership believes this is the right way to do it and our colleagues at the times square alliance, they believe adamantly, and i agree with them, we have to send a message to the world new york city is open. our schools are coming back monday
7:15 am
full strength. and the way to deal with covid is not shutdowns, it's even more in terms of the vaccination, doubling down on vaccination our private sector vaccine mandate started monday and that will see us through the moment >> let me ask you about the front line staffing shortages if i may. the f.d.n.y. are seeing 30% of their numbers out, staff out due to illness there how big of a risk is that to public safety in this city >> peter, that's a really important question thank god we have the five day standard now so what our first responder leadership is saying, look, folks are cycling in and out we want everyone to be healthy what we are seeing is very mild illnesses, thank god after five days, people coming right back on. we have the ability to weather this for sure, so i want everyone to understand this city is strong and it's functioning right now, really, really well because, thank god, the vast majority -- we have 94% of our
7:16 am
public work force vaccinated so folks are weathering this really quickly and well because they are vaccinated. >> mayor, let me ask you about your eight years as mayor. during your tenure, homelessness has gone up. police stops have gone down, as you know, racial inequality still a major issue here in this city so, is new york better now after eight years of your leadership >> look, new york's better because of new yorkers new yorkers were heroic in fighting covid these last two years. i came here to fight inequality. we've proven it. independent studies have shown we were able to put a lot more money back in the pockets of working people wages have gone up we've been able to give things like pre-k and free-k to families universally we have after a tough two years, once again turning the corner. this is the safest big city in america. that is a fact >> yeah.
7:17 am
>> and, look, i'm convinced, new yorkers have shown us just a heroism and a beautiful passion to move forward in this crisis, and i'm convinced this place is better off than it was eight years ago. >> mr. mayor, our time is thin i'll go for a one-word answer here you said you're seriously thinking about running for governor what's next, are you going to run for governor of new york state? >> i will be traveling new york state in just a matter of days, so i'll have more to say then. >> all right, i think i counted 15 words then. it was a good effort, mr. mayor. bill de blasio, we thank you for your time. thank you so much. >> happy new year, everybody >> thank you turning to the latest on holiday travel, flight cancellations are easing slightly as airlines work around the clock to get frustrated holiday travelers to their final destinations but thousands of passengers are still stranded this morning ahead of another busy weekend. nbc's steve patterson is at one of the nation's busiest airports, l.a.x. steve, good morning. >> reporter: hey, peter, good morning. more than 900 cancellations yesterday, hundreds more expected today
7:18 am
a far cry from the thousands we saw earlier this week. but with the variant still surging, the storm still raging, this isn't ending any time soon. >> i just want to get home >> reporter: although cancellations have eased somewhat, the misery index at airports is still sky high delta cancelling 250 flights and announcing vouchers for way ward travelers. united scratching more than 150 flights. alaska airlines and jetblue, proactively thinning their flight schedules the rash of cancellations, a continuation of the holiday chaos, caused by surging omicron numbers and severe weather >> not being with my parent for new year's eve, don't make me cry. >> reporter: the highest pain points felt at airports like seattle where unclaimed bags are piling up. and with nearly 2 million people still flying daily, travel expert scott kyes says headaches aren't going to end any time soon >> we can expect this to continue through the holiday season, through the new year, and it probably will not let up until the actual travel rush lets up. >> reporter: flights, not the only travel disrupted.
7:19 am
the cruise ship industry suffering, too nearly 90 ships now under some kind of cdc monitoring for covid outbreaks. howard benjamin and his wife stuck at sea after the queen mary ii confirmed it won't return to new york after a rash of covid cases >> we don't know how we're getting home yet >> reporter: icy roads causing this 4-mile back up in wisconsin. 20 million americans are under severe weather alert, while the southeast braces for severe weather including possible tornadoes, like the one that ripped the roof off the civic center in alabama overnight. and if you are flying anywhere any time soon, experts recommend that you come prepared have a backup plan know the customer service number of the carrier that you're flying and remember that if you do have a cancellation, it is federal law that you're owed a full cash refund important to remember. peter? >> steve patterson at l.a.x.
7:20 am
thank you. we want to bring in jeff ranieri for the holiday weekend for al jeff, good morning >> good morning, you all we have you covered when it comes to the delays. right now on the map we have heavy rain in los angeles and strong storms moving through atlanta. by tomorrow the threat shifts towards phoenix with major delays and we'll also see the east coast beginning to see some more in towards atlanta. by saturday's forecast, we've got major delays from chicago to denver, 3 to 7 inches of snow. and more storms developing through the southeast. that's a look at your national forecast your local weather coming up in seconds. ♪ ♪ now, get new lower auto rates with allstate. because better protection costs a whole lot less. you're in good hands with allstate. click or call for a lower auto rate today.
7:21 am
44 degrees in san jose, cloudy. we are getting a break from the rain here in northern california. however, southern california really getting some heavy rain. i know a lot of commuters are traveling through the grapevine to southern california. chp has just tweeted out there is a closure on the grapevine near the frazier park area stretch. new year's eve will be dry, but cold. more rain next week. and that is a look at your national forecast. so, again, things this weekend flip-flop here the west coast, we started to see those delays really kind of go down. but it's going to be all about the midwest over towards the east coast so double, triple, quadruple check those flight plans kristen and peter, that includes me, too. i have to get back to the west
7:22 am
coast. >> safe travels, my friend good to be with you this week. coming up right here, this is a wild one how a maintenance worker got into a zoo enclosure where he was attacked by a rare tiger why the man may face criminal charges this morning plus, after a banner year for space exploration, from civilian blast offs to parachute landing on mars, what's ahead? tom costello looks ahead to the new space race but first, this is "today" on nbc. still ahead here on a ahea? tom
7:23 am
when you have xfinity xfi, you have peace of mind built in at no extra cost. advanced security helps keep your family protected online. pause wifi whenever for ultimate control with the xfinity app. and family-safe browsing gives parents one less thing to worry about. security, control and peace of mind. with xfinity xfi, it's all built in at no extra cost.
7:24 am
still ahead here on a thursday morning, why a classic time management trick has taken off on tiktok, and how the viral trend could help you stick to your new year's resolutions. we'll tell you all about it. that's after your local news we are back now at 7:30 on a thursday morning, december 30th, 2021 [♪♪] cooking and eating at home more often means food odors get trapped in your home's fabrics and released back into the air so you smell last night's dinner the next morning. for an easy way to keep your whole home smelling fresh try febreze fabric refresher.
7:25 am
febreze's water-based formula deeply penetrates fabrics to eliminate trapped food odors as it dries. spray febreze fabric refresher when you clean up after meals to ensure your entire home smells fresh and clean. try febreze fabric refresher. brand power. helping you buy better. ♪ ♪ when you shop at target, you leave with what you value most. like healthy foods and brands that lift our communities. at target, the things that matter are always within reach. what we value most, shouldn't cost more. [ music ends ] my nunormal? fewer asthma attacks with nucala. a once-monthly add-on injection for severe eosinophilic asthma. nucala reduces eosinophils, a key cause of severe asthma. nucala is not for sudden breathing problems. allergic reactions can occur. get help right away for swelling of face, mouth, tongue or trouble breathing. infections that can cause shingles have occurred. don't stop steroids unless told by your doctor. tell your doctor if you have a parasitic infection. may cause headache, injection site reactions, back pain, and fatigue. ask your doctor about nucala. find your nunormal with nucala.
7:26 am
our strength, our power, our purpose... ask your doctor about nucala. starts within. so let's start there. with collagen that supports our body from the inside out. (sfx: playful cadence of full soundscape) good morning. for those looking to ring in the new year tomorrow night, health leaders are pleading with you to take extra precautions. >> reporter: i'm bob redell here in walnut creek. if you are going to celebrate tomorrow night, dr. anthony fauci suggests that you do avoid large crowds, stick to small gatherings of family and friends, people who you know are vaccinated and boosted. there will be bars and restaurants here open in walnut creek. you need to show your driver's license to get in and a matching
7:27 am
covid vaccine card. i'm kris sanchez with a covid surge impacting san francisco firefighters. right now there are at least 40 active covid cases in the fire department and about 60 cases for the entire month of december. that's according to the san francisco chronicle. the department does have a 98% vaccination rate among its nearly 1800 staff. they are now subject to the city's booster mandate for people in high risk jobs. they say the shortages are not impacting fire response times. let's check in with vianey arana. >> things are going to be dry today with peaks of sunshine. a lot of people have been commuting to southern california for the holiday. chp is tweeting out there is a closure on the grapevine near
7:28 am
the frazier park stretch due to ice and snow. be careful. thanks for joining us. i'll have another local news update in a half an hour.
7:29 am
7:30 am
we are back now at 7:30 on a thursday morning, december 30th, 2021 we're almost there to 2022 i'm here with my friend peter alexander. we're here for savannah and hoda, along with jacob soboroff. you've come in from the cold nice job >> it was a little chilly out there. it will be fun for the people who show up. >> i think so, yes some people fired up to a scaled back celebration we're going to have >> 15,000 versus what they had planned before we want to get a check on your 7:30 headlines. the biden administration looking to end the trump-era policy, remain in mexico he asked the supreme court to
7:31 am
rule on that directive that forces thousands of asylum seekers to wait in mexico until their cases can be heard in a u.s. court a federal appeals court has now twice thwarted the administration's effort to terminate the policy there is no word when a decision do come down meanwhile, amazon is responding to an alleged incident involving the alexa virtual assistant. the woman says alexa gave her 10-year-old daughter some dangerous advice she asked alexa for a challenge to do and alexa suggested a challenge on the web to plunge a phone charger into an outlet then touch a penny to the exposed prong. alexa said it was notified of the incident and fixed the error. pretty biggerer. very scary if you haven't checked your powerball tickets from last night's drawing, spoiler, sorry to say you did not win the big prize.
7:32 am
don't worry, nobody else did the jackpot goes up now. it stands at an estimated $483 million. the next drawing is saturday night. there is time to go out and buy your tickets good luck, everybody >> that's for sure we want to turn now and talk about a tiger attack that happened at a florida zoo after a maintenance worker crossed a barrier and entered the enclosure. kerry sanders has more on this sad story this morning kerry, good morning. >> reporter: good morning. the terrifying attack happened after hours at the naples zoo. authorities believe that a maintenance worker went into an area where he shouldn't have been and reached into the tiger enclosure and that's when the tiger latched onto his arm and would not let go a terrifying tiger attack inside a florida zoo, leaving one person hospitalized in
7:33 am
intensive care >> medical emergency, naples zoo. >> reporter: it happened late wednesday evening after the naples zoo had already closed to the public authorities say an outside maintenance worker, who is supposed to be cleaning rest rooms and the gift shop, instead crossed a fence barrier and entered the tiger enclosure. investigators say he reached through a second fence, possibly to pet or feed the adult tiger, when the nearly 300-pound cat latched onto his arm sheriff's deputies quickly rushed to the scene. the first officer kicking the enclosure in an effort to scare the animal when that didn't work, authorities say the deputy was forced to shoot the tiger, which caused it to retreat >> the tiger is still inside the tiger cage >> reporter: the zoo releasing a statement overnight calling the
7:34 am
employee a third-party contractor with no authorization to be inside animal enclosures the rare 8-year-old mallayan tiger named echo died. >> kerry, such an awful situation. just how rare are these tiger attacks at zoos? >> reporter: it's very rare and it's usually because a human making a mistake in the situation. but there are cases where tigers do attack. in 2016 china reported a woman jumped out of her car when she thought that her child was going to be attacked by a tiger, and then she was attacked and killed and then you may remember back in 2007 a tiger actually got out of its enclosure in san francisco and attacked three people one person died, two others were seriously injured. but this particular case clearly avoidable. >> no doubt. i remember covering that sad situation in san francisco kerry, thank you very much ahead we are looking ahead to space exploration
7:35 am
>> with civilians paying to blast off in space, will 2022 be the year someone you know becomes an astronaut what if you could see the details of your great-grandparents wedding day... ...or the record that welcomed your great-grandmother to the world. your family story is waiting to be discovered, and now you can search for those fascinating details for free—at ancestry. plaque psoriasis, the tightness, stinging...
7:36 am
...the pain. and now you can search for those fascinating details emerge tremfyant®. with tremfya®, adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis... ...can uncover clearer skin and improve symptoms at 16 weeks. serious allergic reactions may occur. tremfya® may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms or if you had a vaccine or plan to. emerge tremfyant® with tremfya®... ask you doctor about tremfya® today. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ hey, tam-tam! i was thinking maybe... your mom's car? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ merry christmas, dad. to support a strong immune system
7:37 am
your body needs a routine. ♪ ♪ centrum helps your immune defenses every day, with vitamin c, d and zinc* season after season. ace your immune support with centrum. now with a new look! age is just a number. and mine's unlisted. try boost® high protein with 20 grams of protein for muscle health. versus 16 grams in ensure high protein. boost® high protein also has key nutrients for immune support. boost® high protein. ♪ ♪ ♪ "how bizarre" by omc ♪ no annual fee on any discover card. ♪ ♪ within this hallowed bowl is the grain of all time. heart-healthy. no artificial flavors. and ready in minutes. it's epic apples and cinnamon by the spoonful. quaker oats. a super-trusted superfood. [bag crumpling]
7:38 am
really? they're goldfish. i always go for the handful. i got about 73 here. i have more than 73. go for the handful! alright, here we go, miller in motion. wha — wait, wait, is that a... baby on the field?? it looks like it, craig. and the defensive linemen are playing peek-a-boo. i've never seen anything like that before. harris now appears to be burping the baby. that's a great moment right there. the ref going to the rule book here. what, wait a minute! harris is off to the races! we don't need any more trick plays. touchdown!! but we could all use more ways to save. are you kidding me?? it's going to be a long bus ride home for the defense. switch to geico for more ways to save. ♪ ♪ when you shop at target, it's you leave with whatbus ride you value most.ense. like healthy foods and brands that lift our communities. at target, the things that matter are always within reach. what we value most, shouldn't cost more. [ music ends ]
7:39 am
we're back with our series, the new space race of 2021 is going as a landmark year in space exploration. from commercial space operation to nasa's mission to mars. >> experts say 2022 will also be a pretty big year and the u.s. has some serious competition as we look ahead to what's next
7:40 am
here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: if 2021 proved anything, it's that the age of civilian space flight is here if you're rich, famous or you know somebody who is. a billionaire paid for three civilian astronauts to join him on a three-day spacex trip around the earth, raising an astonishing $220 million for saint jude children's hospital >> welcome to our dragon capsule here in space. just want you all to know we're doing this for you >> reporter: jeff bezos sent 82-year-old wally funk to space then william shatner so what does 2022 hold in store? >> for the next generation of dreamers, if we can do this, just imagine what you can do >> reporter: a lot of unfinished business richard branson went to space over the summer, but his virgin galactic still has not carried a single paying passenger. as they workout redesign issues, they hope to start flying the backlog of famous paying passengers by the end of 2022,
7:41 am
including justin bieber, lady gaga, and tom hanks. each paying at least a quarter million dollars. next month spacex founder, elon musk, plans to test his monster star ship rocket that nasa hopes to use to send astronauts back to the moon later this decade. some of those astronauts could be in the new astronaut class of 2021 just announced. ten candidates chosen from 12,000 applicants. jeff bezos, blue origin, plans to continue paying carrying passengers for quick 10-minute joy rides to space blue origin's plan is this a new commercial space station orbital reef a sort of floating orbital business park in three to five years. >> 3, 2, 1 >> reporter: the coolest mission, nasa's dartt will crash into an asteroid at 115 miles per hour next fall >> the dark mission is to basically go hit an asteroid and see if we can move it.
7:42 am
>> reporter: nasa hopes to use that know-how to deflect future asteroids on a collision course with earth >> we have this unique opportunity to demonstrate the method, and also to learn exactly what happens when you crash a spacecraft at high speed into an asteroid >> reporter: but the u.s. is not alone. china is going big on space, already building its own space station with plans to put humans on the moon as soon as 2030. from international competitors to america's rich and famous, space race 2022 is about to heat up and i'll say china is dead serious about becoming the global leader in space, and even space weapons. and there is anxiety in the white house and also in the pentagon that china could soon outpace the united states and its space program and its lunar program, and also as it relates to hypersonic weapons.
7:43 am
guys, back to you. >> tom, thank you very much. bieber, hanks, gaga, welker? >> definitely not. no -- i like to sit on my couch, watch and cheer people on. what about you >> in two seconds. scientific me up send me to space >> minus the ticket price, i'm in on that >> i'll cheer you on >> hanks will get to go. >> that will be neat jeff, what about you you're watching the weather. are you on board >> totally on board. as a meteorologist, yes, scientific me up jacob and i will head out. peter, are you going, too? >> no doubt -- all three >> i'm on the couch cheering on. >> we'll take that we are tracking some severe weather this morning we want to go ahead and get to that you can see it's right here to the southeast from birmingham over towards atlanta what we're dealing with is a line of thunderstorms that's
7:44 am
training over the same spot with some lightning as well we've got a flood watch up in birmingham that's where we could see 1 to 2 inches per hour, so be real careful there. as we get a look at the severe weather we're going to see a new system develop tomorrow. that's going to bring us some thunderstorms from dallas to little rock, right back into nashville. we've got wind gusts of 60, hail, even a chance of some isolated tornadoes now, that threat shifts more off to the east by saturday. so from nashville to atlanta, down to jackson, mississippi, we'll see more of that severe weather. otherwise, what's happening nationally, we still have that record warmth over texas the upper midwest minus 20 to minus 40 on those wind chills. even if you got a lot of layers on, it's probably not going to be good enough for you you just have to stay inside and be safe. out towards the west we do have.
7:45 am
for folks heading down to southern california, the grapevine is dealing with severe conditions and is closed because of snow. check that throughout the day before you even think about heading out the door along highway 5. forecast today in the 50s. and that's a look at your national forecast. now, get this, you guys. the severe weather i just talked about back behind that, there is some much colder air we're going to go from 74 in dallas today to the 50s on sunday, morning temperatures in the 20s. so if they didn't get a jacket out in dallas for christmas, it's maybe a good excuse to buy something for yourself to keep you warm >> bring in those swinging temps for the new year jeff, thank you for that still ahead, a tiktok trend we can get behind. morgan radford explains the increased productivity that sounds good we're all ears
7:46 am
but first these messages star. that no one knows i'm secretly terrified inside. inner voice (sneaker shop owner): i'm using hand gestures and pointing... no one can tell i'm unsure about my business finances. inner voice (furniture maker): i'm constantly nodding... ...because i know everything about furniture... ...but with the business side... ...i'm feeling a little lost. quickbooks can help. an easy way to get paid, pay your staff and know where your business stands. new business? no problem. yeah. success starts with intuit quickbooks. your doctor gives you a prescription. let's get you on some antibiotics right away. you could have it brought right to your door, with 1-to-2 day delivery from your local cvs. or same day if you need it sooner. but at a time like this, aren't you glad you can also just swing by to pick it up? and get your questions answered. because peace of mind is something you just can't get in a cardboard box. that's healthier made easier. at cvs. ♪ ♪ (oven ding) tyson boneless buffalo bites
7:47 am
have that tasty that'skick of flavor...asier. they're perfect for any get-together... if there are any left when your guests arrive. tyson any'tizers® chicken. more kicks of flavor. more smiling snackers. ♪ ♪ (oven ding) more to love. tyson. (vo) for fourteen years, subaru and our retailers have been sharing the love with those who need it most. now subaru is the largest automotive donor to make-a-wish and meals on wheels. and the largest corporate donor to the aspca and national park foundation. get a new subaru during the share the love event and subaru will donate two hundred and fifty dollars to charity. 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. and ensure complete with 30 grams of protein. ♪ ♪
7:48 am
(judge) it's delightful. with 30 g(contestant 1)n. seriously? but it's a total train-wreck. (judge) it's obvious that you've put a lot of work into it. (buzz) she's probably happy because she found out honey nut cheerios can help lower cholesterol. (judge) does anyone want to go on a bike ride? ♪ ♪ my name's caleb. what's yours? i'm grace! did you just move here? yeah! cool! right now at kohl's...
7:49 am
it's time to ring in the savings... did you just move here? and spend your kohl's cash! get up to 60% off holiday decor... fleece for $19.99 and under... 40-60% off bedding... and find so many deals you just can't pass them up! kohl's. our strength, our power, our purpose... starts within. so let's start there. with collagen that supports our body from the inside out. (sfx: playful cadence of full soundscape) people everywhere living with type 2 diabetes are waking up to what's possible... with rybelsus®. the majority of people taking rybelsus® lowered their blood sugar and reached an a1c of less than 7. rybelsus® isn't for people with type 1 diabetes. don't take rybelsus® if you or your family ever had medullary thyroid cancer or have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if allergic to it. stop rybelsus® and get medical help right away if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, severe stomach pain, or an allergic reaction. serious side effects may include pancreatitis.
7:50 am
tell your provider about vision problems or changes. taking rybelsus® with a sulfonylurea or insulin increases low blood sugar risk. side effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may lead to dehydration, which may worsen kidney problems. wake up to the possibility of lower a1c with rybelsus®. you may pay as little as $10 for up to a 3-month prescription. ask your healthcare provider about rybelsus® today. let's make it four for four this week with jacob what's coming up next week >> it's going to be a good one the real-life holiday. one woman's tiktok leads to an actual house swap. she's headed to an adventure
7:51 am
comedy, make it real millions of fans are following along. but first, your local news it's time for our lowest prices of the season on the sleep number 360 smart bed. re it senses your movements and automatically adjusts to relieve pressure points. and its temperature balancing so you both sleep just right. save up to $1,000 on sleep number 360 smart beds. plus, no interest until january 2025. ends january 3rd. (music throughout) age is just a number. and mine's unlisted. try boost® high protein with 20 grams of protein for muscle health. versus 16 grams in ensure high protein.
7:52 am
boost® high protein also has key nutrients for immune support. boost® high protein. i recommend nature made vitamins, because i trust their quality. they were the first to be verified by usp, an independent organization that sets strict quality and purity standards. nature made. the #1 pharmacist recommended vitamin and supplement brand. ♪ ♪
7:53 am
my name's caleb. what's yours? i'm grace! did you just move here? yeah! cool! ...what is that? it's a boban bag. gimme some. no. you get tobi bag. it's adorable. just like you. tobi bag? go for the handful! look at these mighty quaker oats... small in size, epic in taste. heart-healthy. a good source of fiber. and provides lasting energy. there's no denying delicious
7:54 am
quaker oats are the the grain of all time. quaker oats. a super-trusted superfood. [ coughing and sneezing ] quaker oats are the the grain of all time. cold season is back. bounce back fast with alka seltzer plus. with 25% more concentrated power. alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh, what a relief it is ♪ so fast! also try for cough, mucus & congestion. before discovering nexium 24hr to treat her frequent heartburn... claire could only imagine enjoying chocolate cake. now, she can have her cake and eat it too. nexium 24hr stops acid before it starts for all-day, all-night protection. can you imagine 24 hours without heartburn? (kate) this holiday, verizon has the deal that gets better and better and better. get iphone 13 pro, on us, when you trade in your old or damaged phone. here, the phone everyone wants, on america's most reliable network. better? (guy) better. (kate) that's not all. the new iphone, and up to 7 entertainment subscriptions for your family. like apple music, apple arcade, and more. better? (family) better. (kate) not done. the new iphone, the entertainment, and up to $1,000 when you switch. (carolers) ♪better♪ (kate) this year, holiday better, with verizon.
7:55 am
because everyone deserves better. ♪ ♪ when you shop at target, you leave with what you value most. like healthy foods and brands that lift our communities. at target, the things that matter are always within reach. what we value most, shouldn't cost more. [ music ends ] are you one of the millions of americans who experience occasional bloating, gas or abdominal discomfort? taking align can help. align contains a quality probiotic to naturally help soothe digestive upsets 24/7. try align, the pros in digestive health. and join the align healthy gut team up and learn what millions of align users already know. how great a healthy gut can feel. sign up at also try align dualbiotics gummies to help support digestive health.
7:56 am
7:57 am
even though we are going to see peeks of sunshine, it's still going to be chilly into our daytime highs. i want to make sure folks are updated, southern california seeing active weather and several closures for the grapevine. make sure to follow chp traffic reports on twitter for that throughout the day. forecasted highs in the 50s today. new year's eve will be really cold, could even dip down into the 20s kira. >> wow. thank you so much. we'll have another local news update in a half an hour.
7:58 am
7:59 am
- hi mommy! - hi honey! oh i missed you! you just want to video call the kids. ok. ♪ hush little baby...♪ ♪...don't say a word...♪ but if slow upload speeds turn your goodnight call into an accidental horror movie... can you hear me? shut it down. just remember. you're not a bad mom. you just need better internet. at&t fiber delivers faster upload speeds for more reliable video calls. get at&t fiber, plans starting at $35 a month for a year. limited availability in select areas. call 877.only.att. when you have xfinity, you have entertainment built in. limited availability in select areas. which is kind of nice. ah, what is happening. binge-watching is in the bag, when you find all your apps, all in one place. find live sports faster just by using your voice... sports on now.
8:00 am
touchdown irish! [cheering] that was awesome. and, the hits won't quit, with peacock premium included at no additional cost. all that entertainment built in. xfinity. a way better way to watch. it's 8:00 today. ghislaine maxwell found guilty in the sex trafficking trial >> the jury found ghislaine maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable. >> the sentence she now is facing and how accusers are reacting the u.s. shatters the all-time daily high for all-time cases and the nation allege guard brought in to help with cases. >> maybe even longer of a significant surge in cases here
8:01 am
in the united states >> we are live with the latest then it's about time we'll share the stories behind two tiktok phenomenons using an old-time management trend that could help you in the new year >> what i hear again and again from people that switch to time block planning is they are getting twice as much done in the same amount of work time and not home for the holiday. two women inspired by the romcom classic, the holiday, will join us live as they get ready to switch lives >> you'll be someone new and meet people to make you feel worthwhile again >> will it have a holiday ending today is thursday, december 30, 2021 >> hey, "today," we're celebrating our 21st anniversary. >> in georgia. cheers >> it's sweet 16 ♪ >> we're in new york city to
8:02 am
celebrate our 60th birthday. >> one year late due to covid. >> on the "today" show >> welcome back to "today. thanks for being here in new york to that nice family we're so glad you're with us on this thursday morning. i'm peter alexander here with my weekend today cohost kristen welker jacob soboroff brought the band back holiday plans, everybody set the alexanders had a family sleep over we're doing it at home >> holiday plans, a nice dinner at home. my goal, to be up for the ball drop if i make it, that's a success what about you >> i'm going glamping, camping, glamping i'm sleeping at 8:00 >> i think we all will be. we're already getting excited for the new year and for next week when the usual crew will be back body miller and wife morgan will introduce us to their new baby
8:03 am
daughter for the first time on "today." can't wait for that. >> so cute she's a month old now, their sixth child together none of us -- we couldn't be more excited to meet her >> what a great way to start the new year for that family >> we want to get to your headlines. we start at 8:00 there is a lot going on. british socialite ghislaine maxwell was convicted yesterday on five federal sex trafficking charges. the jury reaching that verdict after six days of deliberations. they concluded that maxwell played a pivotal role in recruiting and grooming teenage girls to be sexually abused by her friend jeffrey epstein maxwell was found not guilty on just a single count. she now faces up to 65 years in prison and now to the coronavirus and the troubling cases sweeping the country. the u.s. break its single-day record with almost 35100,000 new cases. nearly double the highest numbers from last winter nbc's sam brock is in miami with the very latest. sam, good morning again to you
8:04 am
>> reporter: kristen, good morning. that half a million new infections in the united states easily the highest mark that we've seen so far in the pandemic kristen, 10% of them are coming from florida we almost saw 50,000 cases reported here yesterday. that was a single-day high for this state smashing records we've seen an 800-plus percent increase in the last couple of weeks. big picture, there are encouraging signs about the severity of omicron because as the federal government reports, about a 60% increase in cases over the course of the last week nationally, hospitalizations have risen 14% deaths are actually down 7%. lending some credence to the idea that omicron is not as deadly as delta. kristen, we also have breaking news from j&j this morning their booster it turns out based on an independent study of south african health care workers is 85% effective at preventing hospitalizations for the health care workers with the original shot of j&j as well. the fda announced a couple more home testing kits that are
8:05 am
coming to market blocks. this will come out soon as hopefully that alleviates some of the bottlenecks we've seen in testing lines we've seen across the country lining up for blocks this will come out soon as well. as so many people right now trying to find out whether or not they're positive for covid-19 this could be another tool in that tool box. kristen, book to you >> certainly could be. sam brock covering all the angles for us this morning thank you. let's turn now to president biden who will speak with russian president vladimir putin over the phone today the call comes at a time of growing tensions between the two leaders over the troop buildup along the ukraine border nbc chief foreign correspondent richard engel is live in london with a closer look richard, good morning to you >> reporter: good morning. those tensions are real. among international diplomats it's become something of a guessing game. will putin invade or won't he? ukrainian officials and u.s. officials worry he could invade ukraine. putin said that's not in his interest and over the next several days on the 10th, 12th and 13th of
8:06 am
january, officials are set to meet here in europe to discuss ukraine. but before those negotiations take place, vladimir putin decided he wanted to have one more direct conversation with president biden. once again, president biden and vladimir putin are trying to pull back from the brink of war in ukraine u.s. officials say this call is at putin's request they wouldn't speculate why, but added if putin wants to talk, president biden is ready to engage, and that the u.s. goal is de-escalation with muddy trenches stretching for miles and fields of land mines, ukraine's border with russia this morning is perhaps the most volatile flash point in the world. a military escalation here could trigger the biggest conflict in europe since world war ii. it's an uneven tale of the tape. on one side our u.s. allied ukrainian troops they're motivated and battle tested from years of fighting russian-backed separatists the ukrainian troops are armed with american tank javelin missiles recently supplied by washington but when we visited the front a few weeks ago, ukrainian
8:07 am
soldiers told us they couldn't withstand a full russian onslaught for long >> hope for the best and get ready for the worst. >> reporter: on the other side of this dangerous border stands the full might of russia's powerful army. despite russian reports of a partial pullback from the border region, u.s. officials say a significant force remains in position presidents biden and putin have already spoken twice about the crisis in-person in geneva this summer, and again by video call just three weeks ago. president biden has said u.s. troops wouldn't fight russia directly, but the u.s. and europe have come up with a battery of new sanctions they claim will cripple russia's economy if it moved further against ukraine. putin's goal from the call is unclear. yesterday he was playing hockey with the president of belarus. the russian leader is in the process of strengthening a political union with belarus, and he may also want to add ukraine to russia's expanding domains. russia says it is the victim in all this. it says that it has no aggressive intention toward
8:08 am
ukraine. ukrainians and u.s. officials see it very differently. what russia says is it is trying to protect itself against nato expansion. and just a short while ago, the spokesman for the kremlin dmitry peskov briefed reporters he said what putin wants to get out of this call is more clarity about what exactly will be on the agenda before much more detailed negotiations in mid-january. >> richard engel in london richard, thank you >> that's the news he has his hat on. >> this is a young woman in
8:09 am
florida who wanted to surprise her coworker with a special gift for her birthday one day when they were both in the break room at work, she handed the woman a card inside there were tickets to a beyonce concert. she realized what her coworker had just done for her. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: as reactions go, she was so overwhelmed with excitement, that pure joy, the two of them sharing that special hug. the gesture going a long way you hope somewhere queen b gets word about this and there is a special greeting at that concert. >> back stage. >> that would be nice. i bet she'll be out of her seat dancing, that's for sure >> that's so great you guys, coming up next a big trend in management is coming up next benjamin franklin is said to
8:10 am
have used it and now it is all the rage on tiktok the benefits of time blocking after these messages it's amazing... he's talking about motorcycle insurance, and people love it. of course, they love the savings they're gonna get with geico, but... it goes beyond that. you. deserve. to save. ha — heard that before. you. deserve. to save. i know. i need you to hear me. you deserve to save. i deserve to save! i mean he has a way of making you feel...seen. bundle car and motorcycle insurance and save at right now at kohl's... it's time to ring in bundl the savings...cycle insurance and save and spend your kohl's cash! get up to 60% off holiday decor... fleece for $19.99 and under... 40-60% off bedding... and find so many deals you just can't pass them up! kohl's. our strength, our power, our purpose... starts within. so let's start there. with collagen that supports our body
8:11 am
from the inside out. (sfx: playful cadence of full soundscape) we hit the bike trails every weekend shinges doesn't care. i grow all my own vegetables shingles doesn't care. we've still got the best moves you've ever seen good for you, but shingles doesn't care. because 1 in 3 people will get shingles, you need protection. but, no matter how healthy you feel, your immune system declines as you age increasing your risk for getting shingles. so, what can protect you? shingrix protects. you can protect yourself from shingles with a vaccine proven to be over 90% effective. shingrix is a vaccine used to prevent shingles in adults 50 years and older. shingrix does not protect everyone and is not for those with severe allergic reactions
8:12 am
to its ingredients or to a previous dose. an increased risk of guillain-barré syndrome was observed after getting shingrix. fainting can also happen. the most common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, muscle pain, tiredness, headache, shivering, fever, and upset stomach. ask your pharmacist or doctor about shingrix. shingles doesn't care. but you should. ♪ ♪ when you shop at target, you leave with what you value most. like healthy foods and brands that lift our communities. at target, the things that matter are always within reach. what we value most, shouldn't cost more. [ music ends ] (kate) this holiday, verizon has the deal that gets better and better and better. get iphone 13 pro, on us, when you trade in your old or damaged phone. here, the phone everyone wants, on america's most reliable network. better? (guy) better. (kate) that's not all. the new iphone, and up to 7 entertainment subscriptions for your family. like apple music, apple arcade, and more. better? (family) better. (kate) not done. the new iphone, the entertainment, and up to $1,000 when you switch. (carolers) ♪better♪
8:13 am
(kate) this year, holiday better, with verizon. because everyone deserves better. we're back now at 8:13. just a couple days until the new year begins. >> and if your 2022 resolution includes less stress, sinus all up for that. let us introduce you to the time management trend going viral. it's called time we're back now at 8:13 just a couple days until the new year begins. >> and if your 2022 resolution includes less stress, sinus all up for that. let us introduce you to the time management trend going viral it's called time blocking, and nbc's morgan radford found out how it all works >> reporter: time blocking it's nothing new >> i time block everything in my life, including laundry. >> reporter: historians say even benjamin franklin did it in the
8:14 am
1700s. but now, thanks to tiktok -- >> i discovered this thing called time blocking >> reporter: it's going viral. inspiring a new generation >> what is time blocking >> so, it looks a little something like this. you're actually going to write out your schedule and you're going to follow it >> reporter: it's basically a way to break your day into chunks, devoting a limited amount of time to each task focusing on the progress of those tasks. and the key, you build this plan the night before small business owner dana walton heard about the concept on tiktok >> women chunk their time-out, eliminate the distractions >> reporter: she said it helps her stay on track while juggling her small business and being a single mom to her 3-year-old son while still working a 9:00 to 5:00 job >> my time block schedule starts from the moment i wake up from 6:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and it literally is wake up, breakfast, brush your teeth, make breakfast for your kid, drop off, pick up,
8:15 am
any meetings i have for work, any nonnegotiables throughout the day, and the periods that i need to have it. it's all literally blocked off >> young people are realizing, i have a lot to do it's unclear how to get it done. >> reporter: georgetown associate professor cal newport is a leading expert in time blocking he even published his own planner, helping people master the age-old tradition and adapt it to today's fast-paced world does this work does it really work? >> time blocking can be near miraculous if you actually execute it what i hear again and again from people that switch to time-block planning, is they are getting twice as much done in the same amount of work time. >> reporter: how is this different from, say, a to-do list >> a to-do list is at the core of what i call ri yong ho active method you react to what's coming at you.
8:16 am
and say, what do i want to do next time blocking is proactive what am i going to do next what's the best allocation to what i could be doing to the time i have available? once you have that plan you can put your head down and execute >> reporter: but the strategy isn't just about productivity. it's also about your health. >> i know the expectation for what's coming next, i tend to stress slightly less >> reporter: brittani brown is a mom of five. she aal hasdhd and says setting up her schedule each day helps eliminate the procrastination that comes with constant decision making >> when i move that amount of panic that comes when you're not exactly sure what you're supposed to be doing, it helps that a lot >> when you look at your plan for the day, all you have to do is turn your attention to the thing in the moment and just execute. when you reduce that stress, the urge to procrastinate to escape, to find something distracting, becomes greatly reduced. >> reporter: so i figured, why
8:17 am
not give it a try? i am not the best schedule keeper i try to stay flexible for news. can you help me out with mine? >> sure. >> reporter: here's how we can all practice effective time blocking >> if i was looking at this if i was you -- >> reporter: first, make sure to schedule in breaks for yourself. you've earned it >> this is crucial in time block planning, is break >> reporter: which is interesting because i have no breaks on here then add extra time to your tasks. professor newport says making your time blocks too short is a pretty common mistake. and finally, batch together all your small tasks like scheduling appointments or calling your doctor's office, so that you can take advantage of the gaps in your day and get those items done all at once for people who have never done time blocking and try it for the first time, what do they usually tell you >> two things. number two, i can't believe how much work i'm getting done >> reporter: for "today," morgan radford, nbc news, washington. >> that is' impressive i have to say, you guys, i'm a big to-do list person. i realize i have to step it up >> i like the idea of the night before you come up with a plan for the next day so you can sleep without the stress of thinking ahead of the next day that does make me anxious, that stress to try to get it done >> the break is critical give yourself breaks during the day.
8:18 am
>> i like the color coding >> it's nice jeff ranieri joins us with the forecast it all works until you have a canceled flight and call the airline. your hold time is three hours. >> yeah, not good. you know, the colorblocking stresses me out a little bit i do the to-do list, too something for everyone let's get you into that forecast here. what we're going to see is more active weather out here to the west from the rockies up towards the pacific northwest down into southern california. 26 million impacted. and check this out some low and unusual snow up through seattle. we could see another inch as we roll through today down in los angeles, again, very heavy rainfall where we will have the threat of potentially flooding today debris floes and those fire burn zones. so the risk, again, real in los angeles. now, this system is going to move off into the rockies as we move through tomorrow. we're looking at 10 to 20 inches of snowfall. it's just an onslaught one storm after the other. and that will also bring us the risk hereof some avalanches. otherwise happening on the map
8:19 am
today, we've got some strong storms in the southeast, some record warmth down into texas. and again, bitter cold in the upper midwest. that's a look at your national forecast finally, live look in san francisco, 44 degrees right now. we are going to keep a couple of the cloudy areas, though, through the afternoon. satellite radar looking much more quiet today for the northern portion of california, however, still seeing some extreme weather down through southern california. and there are closures on the grapevine, so if you had plans to travel there check the road conditions. forecasted highs for today will be in the 50s, a couple row 40s. napa 49, chilly sunshine. national forecast. so, kristen, are you going to put going up into space on your to-do list have you changed your mind >> no, i've not changed my mind. it is nowhere on my to-do list,
8:20 am
jeff >> save it for 2022. jeff, thank you so much. jacob is in again handling our pop star for carson today. >> are you ready i'm ready. here we go in pop star, the holiday, it has been 15 years since the iconic movie hit theaters and became a romcom classic the film which stars, of course, kate winslet, jude law, jack black, two women, one from america, one from england, who swapped homes over the holidays. get this earlier this month 25-year-old grace gagnon from boston felt inspired by the movie. she posted on tiktok, anyone in england want to switch places for the holiday? that has been viewed 4 million times. one of those viewers was 22-year-old flo from england who reached out to grace grace and flo, we have a treat, are joining us live right now from england good morning, you two. >> hi. >> good morning. >> grace, i have to ask you.
8:21 am
is this what you expected to happen when you posted your tiktok >> absolutely not. definitely not it feels like a bit of a dream right now. i only posted the video three weeks ago and suddenly i was planning a trip to europe last-minute. now i'm here nuts >> flo, when you saw the tiktok, what inspired you to say, i'm in for that i would try that >> i just thought, why not i think we have to do these things >> we love this. grace and flo, it's one of my favorite all-time movies in the world. and one of the things i love about it is that cameron diaz and kate winslet find the love of their lives at the end of this swap. so, are you guys both hoping for that grace, why don't you take it first. >> who is playing jude law >> you know, love of your life, it's a bit of a stretch. more so for a fun adventure. if a strapping young man decides to sweep me off my feet, i won't
8:22 am
say no to it >> would either of you guys try this again or are you just a match made in heaven >> oh, it's a match made in heaven if anything, i've done enough. we've got each other at the end of this anyway >> yeah. we're going to have like regular meet-ups and stuff she'll come to boston and just hang out and then i'll come to england and just hang out. i love her family already, so -- >> flo, the next stop for you is boston what's on your plate of american things you want to try >> definitely a celtics game i've got to do that. i've got a few other things on my list. the food is going to be amazing, so grace has a whole list of things to do i'm going to work my way through that >> enjoy every minute. >> i was going to say the same thing. what a special extraordinary experience thanks to both of you for joining us this morning. happy new year to both of you as well we've got more pop start for all of you coming up next, miley cyrus and pete davidson.
8:23 am
the two stars are gearing up to bring in the new year tomorrow cyrus and davidson are heading to miami to host the holiday special, miley's new year's eve party. the star studded celebration will include a lineup of special gifts and performances the pair sat down to share what they are most excited for. take a look. >> pete, i think what's going to be great about the show is we're actually inviting our friends. it's going to be like a real party and the cameras just happen to be there it is an not going to feel like a show it's going to feel like everyone is there in miami with us. >> yeah, i agree >> i have friends to invite. >> he's a man of few words those friends, by the way, include brandy carlisle, billy joe armstrong, and saweetie as well you can catch miley's new year's eve party hosted by miley cyrus and pete davidson 10:30 p.m. eastern here on nbc. up next, carry hospital on twitter to give a shout out to a baker with a life size cake. it's a replica from the hit 2000 movie.
8:24 am
he constructed a hyper realistic. it's fully edible. a sculpture of the classic dr. seuss character. the expert baker revealing she completed the job, guess how many days? only three days. >> not possible. >> jim carey was touched by the sweet tribute and sent out a tweet. he said my ultimate goal is not just to be admired by my fans, but to be eaten by them. i wonder if she does an angel food ace ventura that's awesome that's something -- something tells us laura could probably pull that one off, too that's your pop start, guys. >> that's impressive >> quickly we're throwing it back to a photo of you from 1998 >> no way. >> taken right here in studio 1-a. we wanted to show we posted it to twitter this week it reads, here's a throw back to my first time in 1-a as a
8:25 am
tourist with my sister molly, 1998. dreaming of doing what i got to do this morning for the first time, epic jacob, 13 years later here you are. we thank you for being a part. this has been a fun week for all of us. >> it's been special for me to be here with you guys. to be here with all of you guys at home, too >> you have rocked it. what a great memory. love it. >> pretty good stuff >> pretty good well, coming up we have the best products to help you reset your life. perfect for meditating, the healthiest meal kits and more. but first your local news.
8:26 am
it's 8:26. i'm scott mcgrew. the san francisco fire department hardly immune from the omicron driven covid surge. there are 40 active covid cases in the fire department in the city and about 60 cases were reported in the month of december. this is according to the "san francisco chronicle." now, as we've reported, the department does have a 98% vaccination rate among its nearly 1800 staff. the fire department says that while positive cases are impacting staffing, they're not impacting fire response. let's get a check of weather this morning with vianey.
8:27 am
>> we're getting more sunshine today and the dry weather will stick around in time for new year's eve and new year's day. 44 degrees right now. we have cloud cover, satellite radar paints a quieter picture compared to yesterday. for those thinking about driving through the grapevine check the road conditions, there are several closures through frazier park according to chp. follow them on twitter to get the latest on that. chilly temperatures today but warmer than yesterday, in the 50s, topping out at 52 hayward, 53 san jose and it stays dry through the weekend. scott? >> vianey, thank you. we will have another local news update coming for you in half an hour. of course, you can always check
8:28 am
rn about covid-19 the more questions and worries we have. calhope can help with free covid-19 emotional support. call 833-317-4673 or live chat at today. wanna help kids get their homework done? calhopwell, an internetree coconnection's a good start. but kids also need computers. and sometimes the hardest thing about homework is finding a place to do it. so why not hook community centers up with wifi? for kids like us, and all the amazing things we're gonna learn. through projectup, comcast is committing $1 billion so millions more students can continue to get the tools they need to build a future of unlimited possibilities. i hope you're ready. 'cause we are.
8:29 am
ling anxious about the future, you're not alone.
8:30 am
calhope offers free covid-19 emotional support. call 833-317-4673 or live chat at today. we are back now at 8:30 on a thursday morning less than two days remaining in 2021 and some of us take advantage of that turn of the calendar to focus on our wellness goals. >> no doubt. some of us could use it more than others, speaking of one self elliot weiler is here with consumer top-rated products to get healthy in the new year. these are going to help you sleep better, eat better and keep track of your exercise. >> i could use some of that. plus, in today's climate, who thought of dumping millions of tires into the ocean and whether or not that was a
8:31 am
good idea, they were supposed to create an artificial reef, instead a massive clean-up effort kerry sanders joins the effort to pull all the tires out of the water. >> you can call this man a bit of a hero. he has invented a brand-new type of pasta he says hold onto the sauce better than other shapes he uses it to cook up a hearty dish perfect for new year's weekend. >> pasta with sauce. sounds good. incredible ahead on the third hour of "today," a woman who is determined to change the milestone experience of getting your ears pierced. instead of doing it at the mall, bringing a nurse into your own home that sounds nice >> it does sound nice. coming up tomorrow on "today," they can tug at your heart strings or make you laugh out loud get ready for the boosty awards, the very best of hoda's morning boost from 2021. >> the boosty awards, i like that >> yes plus everything you need to know to ring in the new year in style. carson and siri daily have some
8:32 am
amazing last-minute recipes for tasty bites and drinks as you watch the ball drop. that's coming up tomorrow on "today." >> jeff ranieri has his eyes on the skies. >> we have you covered as we ring in 2022 we'll take it right into new year's eve we are going to see strong storms through the southeast up towards new york city 49 degrees so, good there the ball drop still expected to happen down towards miami for the nbc show, miley cyrus, pete davidson we have snow in the rockies. as we hit new year's day, we will see those severe storms ramp up a little more in the southeast. also snow from chicago back to nebraska and kansas. look at this, the west coast finally getting in on some sunshine on saturday and the map clears out even more through the west as we hit sunday's forecast. look for snow and rain in the
8:33 am
midwest, the northeast a hey, jeff. we are finally seeing breaks from the rain and sunshine. now, 44 degrees right now in san francisco and even though it's a little cloudy at least we are not worried about the rain today here in northern california. although, if you are traveling to southern california, it's important to make mention that the grapevine is seeing several closures, so make sure to check twitter for updates on that. topping out at 53 oakland, 53 palo alto and over the next seven days, dry through the weekend. d that is a look at your national forecast. so, with new year's day coming up, i know everybody has different traditions in my family we do black i'd peas all you need is one spoonful supposed to bring you good luck. i have us all covered. peter, kristen, jacob, i can take care of us all. i can handle one spoonful. >> that's so nice. also so good to eat. >> yes
8:34 am
very yummy >> thank you very much straight ahead right here, it can help lessen anxiety, reduce insomnia, ask even get your exercise routine on track elliot weiler from consumer reports has the best to reset your health in 2022.rink. before that drink turns to drinks, make a plan to get home safe. just call a friend, a cab, and get a rideshare. whatever you do, don't let drunk drive. go safely, california.
8:35 am
8:36 am
out. hair, done. fit, fantastic! marijuana. not so fast. remember, marijuana and some meds don't mix. a sober driver can cure that. don't let high drive. go safely, california. welcome back to "today's" consumer. with the new year just two days away we are focusing on the best way to reset for 2022 with a focus on the body and the mind. and that's just what our friends at consumer reports have been doing, rating the top products and ideas that can help us start fresh this coming year. and you can scan that qr code, by the way, at the bottom of your screen for more about any of these from consumer reports. digital life-style editor he will >> thank you for having me we test hundreds of products every year
8:37 am
we surveyed thousands of our members to see how they liked the products what works, what doesn't work, do they have any problems. that happens year round. this time of year we curated this list especially for these health and wellness items as many of us use the calendar as a natural great way to reset the button for hopefully a healthier 2022 >> these are great ideas they apply to things you do at your home for all of us who are home bound these days. we talk about weighted blankets. these are heavy ones you have for us here. there are health benefits to them as well, aren't there >> yes, like a lot of things in sleep it's an individual
8:38 am
preference the science might be iffy if there is any data there at all but the people that use and like weighted blankets say it kind of makes them feel like they're getting a hug, like a big, deep snuggle there. that can be relaxing for a lot of people. so if you're shopping for a weighted blanket, you're not sure if you want it yet, one of the tests you can do is layer a couple thicker comforters on obviously it will be hotter, but you can replicate the same idea. we have two there for you. one is from gravity and one is from luna. one has a cotton cover, one does not. the way the weighted blankets work, and you can probably feel it, peter, they have small either glass or plastic beads woven into those little pockets. that's what gives it the weight. if you're shopping for it, i'm almost done here they are sold by weight obviously. so look for about 10% of your body weight. so if you weigh 150 pounds, you would want a 15-pound weighted blanket. >> the price point we see online roughly $70, the more expensive one, you can pay up to $250? >> 250, exactly. you many of these have a 30-day trial. if you get it home and don't
8:39 am
like it, you can send it back and get a refund >> everybody is into returns these days let's get massage guns these days to iron out their muscles after a workout and the like what do you have for us? >> so, we have two we have one from a brand a lot of people probably know. it was probably the first or one of the first that a lot of advertising online it is the most expensive of the guns that we looked at almost $600. it works very well it has a nice ergonomic handle which is what you want you reach around, you want something that's going to let you get your shoulders, get your back nicely there. it's well built but it is $600 so it is a high price point. if you want to give a massage gun a try and don't want so spend $600, the renfo-r3 is another good option. it might not be as intense, but it gives a good sensation. do i like the way it feels they're there when you need them you don't have to make the appointment for a massage. you don't have to see a physical therapist. you charge it, you go, you don't have to leave your house >> elliot, i have a lot more here to roll through homework out, what do you have for them >> you can fire up your connected speaker, your google, your alexa and say, give me a workout.
8:40 am
you might have to go into the app and enable some skills there, but that's a great way to do it. it's right in your room, right in your house. a great way to get started there. if you want to use technology a little butt particular, we brought along some fitness trackers, some smart watches we have three models a fitbit, samsung and amaze fit. these are all, kind of have both similar features and different features these are much more than step counters and pedometers. these will measure blood oxygen and stress and heartbeat so if you're into those metrics and want to use those numbers to kind of see how your overall wellness is, any of these would be a nice option for you >> a lot of people did returning over the holidays. these might be good things to spend the money on for headsets, what recommendations do you have? >> right if you're an audio file and you really want to crank up the base, there are better options than these these we targeted because they are at a great price point $30, $22
8:41 am
if you want that extra set of headphones to put into your gym bag, to take out on the track, we've got skull candy for $22. it's an amazing price. and we have one from jbl for 30. the jbl claims to have 40 hours of battery life which is just terrific >> that's nice >> yeah. so those are just some nice options. if they're going to get sweaty, in they're going to get tossed around, you're not going to lose a $200 pair of headphones there. >> finally for those folks trying to eat healthier these are some of the best options you recommend. why so >> the meal delivery kits, we have sun basket, home chef and hello fresh. they give you a nice variety, good quality ingredients you can customize it maybe you want to try some meatless meals in the new year maybe you want to try keto in the new year they're $4 to $6 per serving a fun way to eat healthier they do a lot of the prep for you. you can spend about 30 minutes and have a nice healthy meal in the new year >> our family has been into that it gives you a diversity of meal, things you may not have thought to make for yourself
8:42 am
elliot, nice to see you. thanks for your time today >> thank you, happy new year to you. >> for more about the products, you can head to up next, saving the ocean from a manmade mess. kerry sanders gets a look at how a major ecological disaster off the coast of florida is finally getting cleaned up, but first, this is "today" on nbc eco licag
8:43 am
8:44 am
we are back with "today" climat >> we are back with today climate and ho we are back with "today" climate and the story how the best intentions turned out to be a spectacular failure. one that's finally being corrected this morning >> off the coast of southeast florida, millions of old car tires were piled up for nearly 100 miles. what was supposed to be an artificial reef that never took hold nbc's kerry sanders is back with this one kerry, good morning. >> reporter: well, good morning, guys you know, this is a case of out of sight, out of mind.
8:45 am
just off as you noted almost 100 miles, in between two reefs, what started out as the best of intentions, but what wound up as an ecological disaster just one mile from the store in fort lauderdale, an estimated 2 million old tires. what did you think when you first saw this >> these tires have been as far north as north carolina. it's ominous and you see nothing but thousands of tires it's unreal. >> reporter: all of this a result of what marine biologists say they know was a misguided effort to build an artificial reef the first few dumps were celebrated with great fanfare. reporter kerry was there as they sank some of the first tires >> they'll sink, stay in one place, and makes a better home for the fish who will live in them >> reporter: 50 years ago the idea seemed so reasonable. but the unknown truth was the tires were too slick, and ocean
8:46 am
currents too strong for the corals to grow plus, no one stopped to worry about the chemicals in the tires that would leach into the saltwater. engineers say long ago, those chemicals washed away, but the decaying tires are now breaking into bits of micro pollution >> the ocean is changing >> reporter: famed oceanographer dr. sylvia earl was not part of the tire project back then, but says even with what we've learned about the oceans today, we're still making difficult to reverse mistakes what have we learned about what we thought was the way to get rid of garbage, dumping it in the ocean? >> we're a better place today because we know what we could not know, did not know at the time it seemed like a good idea, but it's just more garbage in the ocean. the avalanche of plastic that is now clogging the ocean and destroying so much life and coming back to haunt us.
8:47 am
>> reporter: this month, divers with 4 ocean began removing tires in a 30-acre patch it could take more than five years. >> we're going to get every tire we see out >> reporter: you're confident? >> i'm pretty confident. >> reporter: it's estimated more than 300 million tires are thrown away every year in the u.s. a quarter are ground up and mixed into new products, like road surfaces. 12% go into landfills. some tires find second lives often on cars overseas 40% are burned for fuel. the tires sitting on the ocean floor for more than four decades will be burned, which clean-up teams admit is its own form of pollution. but what those extracted tires won't do is break loose during hurricanes when they do, the tires smash and kill coral reefs
8:48 am
>> think of wrecking balls barrelling through the coral reefs. >> reporter: damaging delicate reefs, an unseen dump of tires that is finally being cleaned up 4 ocean is not a charity they're what the irs calls a public benefit corporation the way they're funding this clean-up is they take the tires and they take a portion of it and turn it into bracelets and sell them in these containers. the money that they get from selling the bracelets, mostly to people who believe in saving the environment, then funds what they're doing right off the coast here and what will take quite sometime guys >> kerry sanders, just remarkable it hurts your heart to see those tires on the floor of the ocean. so glad they are getting cleaned up thanks so much for that. coming up next, the delicious story of this man's pasta invention. get this, he created a whole new noodle shape that's perfect for soaking up sauce >> he's putting it to use in a new year's worthy dish that we think you're going to love think you're going to love but fit, this is "today" on rs
8:49 am
8:50 am
this holiday season, we want to enjoy the gift of being together. for peace of mind, take the first step in knowing. because it might just be a cold, but you want to be confident. the binaxnow covid-19 antigen self test has the same technology used by doctors and detects multiple variants. so in just 15 minutes, you can test, know, and go. available in stores and online. ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ this morning on "today" food pasta from the mind of a genius. >> music to my ears. noodles are always a crowd pleaser, and this new year's
8:51 am
weekend is the perfect time to make a mouth-watering mushroom ragu >> the host of the popular podcast, the forkful the inventor of a new pasta shape called cascatelli. other good to see you. >> great to talk to you. >> you invented this pasta i'm cooking macaroni for my daughters not making a new pasta shape. what got you thinking? >> i've been dissatisfied with a lot of shapes out there. this is controversial, peter, but i think spaghetti kind of stinks, you know i have these three methods i came up with to judge pasta. fork ability, how well does it stay on the fork sauce ability, how much sauce does it hold, and think ability. how satisfying is it to think? there are a few shapes for one or two, but i couldn't find one that solved them all >> there are so many different types of pastas. great types.
8:52 am
but what inspired you to make cascatelli, where did that come from >> so, i just -- i set out to do it and i wanted a better shape what i did was you can see the finished product here. -- i'll show you. i spent three years -- >> wow >> -- it's called mission impasta bowl this has ruffles down the side i love this shape because ruffles, there should be more shapes than ruffles. that's the bottom line ruffles hold a lot of sauce. they're fun to eat they're fun in your mouth. you have these ruffles i think they're great. then there's bucatini. it's hollow down the center like a drinking straw you can't quite see it there trust me it's hollow.
8:53 am
there you go and it's very springy to the bite i wanted to find a which, how can i combine ruffles and a tube into a shape it turned out it was nearly physically impossible. i spent months and years working with pasta mold designers to try to break the laws of pasta physics and findly came up with cascatelli it has ruffles the short shape was physically impossible but that was part of my quest. >> fascinated by this. dan, i want to talk about the mushroom ragu. what makes the mushroom ragu so special? >> well, first of all, you know, no disrespect to tomato sauce. i love a good tomato sauce or meat sauce there are so many great ways to enjoy pasta that don't involve tomato sauce mushrooms are like -- you have a pasta shape here that's like
8:54 am
eating a steak and you have mushrooms which are incredibly meaty this is a very satisfying dish i have my mushrooms here which i presauted. i have oyster mush rooms, crimini mush rooms, baby bellas. go for it, you can go crazy with your mushrooms i have a basic sauce here. leeks, shallots, delicious stuff. i'm going to take that, put my pasta in, mix it all up. and this is going to be like a pasta dish that's going to eat like a meal. so you're going to mix it up, get it all going here. look at this >> quick question. as we're looking at that, when you take the pasta out, boiling it, how do you make it not stick? i know this applies to some other pastas what's the best thing to do to it after >> you can sprinkle a bit of olive oil on it or dump it straight into your sauce one of the key things you want to do is reserve some of your cooking pasta water, i'm dumping it in right now. reserve some cooking water start mixing in the cheese, the
8:55 am
mixing water put it back in your sauce, it's not going to stick just keep moving is what i like to do. >> dan -- >> yes, go on, i'm sorry >> no, i'm sorry two-part question for you. are there any other types of pastas that work and should you serve this dish immediately? >> no. the great thing about this dish is -- what you want to do is cook your pasta a couple minutes less than what it says on the box. mix it with the sauce. let it simmer with the sauce you can cook the sauce in advance and then just cook the pasta at the last minute and mix it with the sauce. then you've got a great big hearty dish. you're going to get all your friends and family around, it's grate new year's dish. it's rich, it's creamy, and it's -- it eats like a steak >> what else do you serve with that, dan? do you put anything on the side? >> i mean, it's all in one bowl right here what else do you need? >> i was going to say. >> you know, all these mush rooms, you have the sauce mixed in so nicely
8:56 am
i call this area in between the ruffles the sauce trough right in there >> the sauce trough. i'm going to be right over >> that's where all the sauce gets stuck in. that's my favorite part. >> thank you so much we're going to deliver it to your spaghetti lovers. thank you for the recipe head to ahead, a look at the making of "today." >> later on, hoda and jenna. hoda turns the tables on legendary jerry seinfeld getting a laugh out of him >> we have a new podcast, deion load "today" at the apple pod store wherever you get your podcast. and good morning to you, it's 8:56. i'm scott mcgrew. the san francisco fire department hardly immune from the omicron driven covid surge. there are 40 active covid cases in the city's fire department. about 60 cases reported in the month of december. that's according to the "san
8:57 am
francisco chronicle." now, the fire department says while positive cases are impacting staffing, they're not impacting their fire response. happening now, san francisco will now require law enforcement in certain settings and other people in high-risk workplaces to get booster shots. head to our website to see when that deadline is. several bay area counties reinstating mask mandates as covid cases are on the rise. we learn about covid-19, the more questions we have.
8:58 am
the biggest question now, what's next? what will covid bring in six months, a year? if you're feeling anxious about the future, you're not alone. calhope offers free covid-19 emotional support. call 833-317-4673, or live chat at today. - musicians, composers, conductors, and dancers
8:59 am
make our world a more beautiful place. - that's what i always said, right? - support music education and help unlock the creator in all of us. the more you know.
9:00 am
this morning on the third hour of today, an olympic edition of dad's got this. gold medal winner suni lee's dad on her early years and their special bond she made it, one sharpen entrepreneur shaking up the ear piercing business. and it's the "today" show like you've never sn it before. behind the scenes of our fun family week and our epic game of pickle ball. it's the making of "today" today, thursday, december 30th, 2021 >> announcer: from studio 1-a in rockefeller plaza, ts


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on