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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  December 20, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PST

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injury attorneys ♪ call one eight hundred, eight million ♪ hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. you are watching "cnn newsroom," and i'm rosemary church. just ahead, whether it's delta or omicron, new waves of of covid-19 are gripping the globe. we look at some of the restrictions in effect and what experts say needs to be done. u.s. senator joe manchin faces blistering criticism after saying he won't vote for president joe biden's build back better plan. we will look at what it means for the biden agenda. plus chinese tennis star
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peng shuai walks back allegations of sexual assault. why she says this was all a misunderstanding. >> announcer: live from cnn center, this is "cnn newsroom," with rosemary church. good to have you with us. well, not a wave but a covid tsunami. that is the warning from one u.s. health expert as the omicron variant threatens to plunge the country into yet another covid emergency. the delta variant is already driving a surge in cases and hospitalizations. but experts say omicron will overtake delta soon, straining a health care system that's already at the brink. and that's why officials say it's more important than ever to get vaccinated and boosted. and new numbers underscore that point. recent cdc data shows unvaccinated people are 20 times
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more like ly to die from covid than people who have been fully vaccinated and boosted. meanwhile, u.s. president joe biden is preparing to meet with the white house covid response team in the coming hours. he's also set to address public concerns about omicron in a speech on tuesday. and over on capitol hill u.s. senators elizabeth warren and cory booker both announced sunday that they have tested positive for the virus. both say they are experiencing only mild symptoms because they are both fully vaccinated and boosted. well, new york is reporting some troubling covid numbers with another record case count on sunday of more than 22,000. cnn's polo sandoval has our report. >> reporter: for three days now new york state has seen a significant increase in the number of new covid cases. in fact, a record number of covid cases confirmed throughout the state here. we have heard some optimism
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coming from new york city bill de blasio on sunday saying the bringing back of some of these mitigation efforts, also this increase in numbers, yes it's happening right now, it's a new reality, but it is a temporary one. but when you speak to new yorkers, there is a concern and a fear that things are possibly going to get worse before they get better. and so we have seen just massive crowds at covid testing sites throughout new york city. people who are trying to at least secure an appointment to actually get those tests. it is a requirement if they're going to be traveling soon. but for many, almost everybody, they want to be tested. they want to extra peace of mind even though a majority of them are vaccinated. >> i feel like a couple of friends i have that have been vaccinated did actually have co covid, so just kind of trying to play it safe for the family. >> to be safe. you never know. even you vaccinated you could still get it. so it's better to make sure.
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>>. >> reporter: as recently as last week new york city announced a multipoint approach that is meant to try to slow the spread that includes increasing the number of locations where people could get vaccinated and also where people could get tested and even making those home kits available for those who are not able to actually stand in line for hours at a time. but the big, big advice obviously coming from officials not just here in new york city but throughout the country. for the portion of the population that's not vaccinated to get the shot. if you already did to get boosted. and if you got boosted to get tested. polo sandoval, cnn, new york. and dr. scott miskovic is the ceo of premier medical group usa and a national consultant for covid-19 testing. he joins us now from hawaii. thank you, doctor, for all ha you do. >> thank you, rosemary, for having me. >> absolutely. and dr. anthony fauci says that omicron is raging around the world. and the cdc says unvaccinated people face 20 times greater risk of dying from covid-19 than
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those who've been boosted and yet only about 18% of americans have received that third shot. how do you convince more people to get boosted? and where do you see things going if they refuse to do that? >> you've nailed it. that is the problem right now. and i think it's fair to say across the country because i have teams across the country, i'm involved with many different states, there are ample sites out there for people to get vaccinated. and they're just not seeking them out. it's really just baffling right now because the data is so clear. of course one of the things we're looking at as people are saying, well, it seems like i can get it if i am vaccinated or not, so why get it, those fence sitters. well, it's about dying and it's about severe hospitalization. so i just think the public health effort has to be
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broadened. it should be anytime you turn on your radio, your tv, your internet to let people know where the sites are and what they can do. it's just so unbelievable that people aren't rushing to get those third shots right now. or their first shots. remember, we only have what, just low 60% of the total country have received vaccinations. >> it's just amazing that there aren't more public messages about this. there's still so much misinformation there. people are just not getting the truth about this. and of course we know that about 30% of americans don't even have their first shot. but because of them the rest of us are facing added restrictions. essentially holding the rest of us hostage to this pandemic. do we need to start considering what austria's doing, locking down the unvaccinated, or at least shutting them out of public places by using covid passes? >> absolutely. it's shown to be effective. we have places throughout the world that have shown it to be effective. and it is happening. my home state of hawaii has a vaccine passport to get in.
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actually, now we have a problem. and the problem is, well, with two shots you're still likely to catch covid. you're not going to likely die from it. but i think we're going to see that that vaccine passport will have to be moved to three shots. you and i have talked about this on the show, that three shots is fully vaccinated, two is partially. but i do believe we are going to have to have a lot more in the way of restrictions that are going to protect the people who have taken the time to get those vaccinations. and you know, look at europe. it's just -- they're putting so many restrictions in play. and i would say i do agree. >> yeah. except there is a lot of pushback. but strong leadership. that's what we need, right? right across the globe. so dr. fauci also says that more covid testing needs to be made available for anyone who wants one. why isn't that already happening? wasn't that what biden promised? >> you know, that does confuse
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me, that we have had such a -- come on. two years coming up on the pandemic, and we're still just wondering about at-home tests and the availability to get tests in states and counties is just sputtering. there's no excuse. and i think this goes right back to the beginning of of something you and i have been talking about for 16 months. there hasn't been enough of a broad federal response. it's kind of like okay, we'll give you money to the states or counties and then you guys figure out how to use it. we need a very broad cogent response to say this is the test, here they are, this is how we're going to skribt them, and have the labs securing enough equipment to do regular high-quality tests. >> absolutely. and doctor, we are sewing more breakthrough cases of the fully vaccinated. senators elizabeth warren and cory booker just tested positive
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but have mild symptoms because, as they point out, they are double vaccinated and boosted. which means the vaccines are doing exactly what they're supposed to do. preventing severe illness and death. but some anti-vaxxers say this is proof the vaccines don't work. how do you counter that misinformation? >> well, the one way it's countered is we are probably now one degree of separation across this country for everyone knowing someone who's either had severe covid or has died from covid. so that is very concerning, that they're probably not opening their eyes to that. the other thing is look at the people suffering out there with long-term covid. and you know, i think we're almost going to have to look way back in the early polls had stated that there's anywhere from 12 to 17% of individuals who said they would never get vaccinated. well, those are coming true.
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i think we're going to be able to say all we want, those people will never change. we still can't give up. but it's probably going to be ultimate mandates that will push that group over, and even then they're going to take it to court and fight. in the meantime, everybody else who's willing, especially those that are socially vulnerable or medically vulnerable, we have to find a way. i'm very concerned we still have nursing homes without third boosters and people over 65. the numbers have to go up to save lives. >> they're just not moving fast enough with that. dr. scott miscovich, thank you as always for asking all our questions. we appreciate it and you. >> thank you, rosemary. >> thank you. well, it is a bleak picture across much of europe. as soaring covid cases caused by the omicron and delta variants are spoiling christmas plans for many. streets in the netherlands are largely deserted, with the country enforcing one of the strictest lockdowns in europe.
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it's set to last until at least january 14th. meanwhile, authorities in denmark say covid infections there could reach up to 45,000 per day by christmas. and thousands gathered in brussels on sunday to protest covid restrictions. belgium has recently required covid passes to enter bars and restaurants. and across the channel the omicron variant is taking over parts of the uk and ireland. now, this follows record high new infections in britain over the weekend. the mayor of london says further restrictions are inevitable. soaring cases in ireland have forced the government to put new curfews in place with bars and restaurants closing at 8:00 p.m. nightly. cnn's selma abdul aziz joins us from london. good to have you with us. what is the latest on these covid infections, hospitalizations, restrictions, specifically of course omicron?
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>> reporter: i think, rosemary, everyone is waking up this morning wondering will there or will there not be restrictions on christmas? over the weekend of course the mayor of london, mayor sadiq khan, putting this city in a state of emergency due to the rise of omicron cases. several days in a row records were broken. records that had not been broken since the start of this pandemic in terms of case numbers. 90,000 cases on a single day on friday. high concern over the rate of hospitalizations which is increasing. of course there's a lag between positive cases and hospitalizations. so health officials concerned we're going to see really this wave of positive cases, potentially a proportion of them show up in hospitals in a couple of weeks' time. scientific advisers now telling the government that more restrictions might be needed. and prime minister boris johnson and his administration insistent for now that there will be no more rules, that as long as the booster program goes ahead that we will have that layer of protection that's required.
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but today this morning i do hear a changing of the tune. dominic araab, this morning on the breakfast shows saying there's no hard and fast guarantees there will be no more restrictions for christmas. we have plan b measures in place which mandates masks, mandates showing a covid passport in large-scale public venues, but nothing like the restrictions you're seeing across most of western europe, these big sweeping lockdowns are simply not in place here. so over the next few days what we're expecting is that prime minister boris johnson's going to come under increasing pressure from scientific advisers to put more restrictions in place. but i can tell you, rosemary, regardless of whether the government puts these restrictions in place i know that families, individuals, all of us are taking our own precautions. some people are calling it lockdown by stealth because so many people are just isolating voluntarily due to the large number of positive cases. rosemary. >> understandable, too. salma abdelaziz joining us from
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london. still ahead what's to come for president joe biden's build back better plan now that senator joe xhain says he won't vote for it? we'll discuss that next. and where we come from. ohhh my god. it told us, almost to the t, where we come from, where our mixture is. ♪ i'm very proud to be indigenous to zacatecas. that's our history, our little legacy. discovering things that were a mystery, that's what ancestry® did for our family. ♪ woman: i have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. now, there's skyrizi. ♪ things are getting clearer ♪ ♪ yeah i feel free ♪ ♪ to bare my skin, yeah that's all me. ♪ ♪ nothing and me go hand in hand ♪ ♪ nothing on my skin that's my new plan. ♪ ♪ nothing is everything. ♪ woman: keep your skin clearer with skyrizi. most who achieved 90% clearer skin at 4 months
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u.s. senator joe manchin is under fire from the white house and fellow democrats after saying he will not vote for president joe biden's build back better plan. a top legislative priority that would expand the social safety net. manchin has long been a key holdout on the plan despite months of talks. here's what he said on sunday. >> i cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. i just can't. i've tried everything humanly possible. i can't get there. >> you're done. this is a no? >> this is a no. on this legislation. i have tried everything i know to do. >> the white house issued this sharp rebuke after learning that their talks with the senator have reached a dead end. quoting here, "if his comments on fox and written statement indicate an end to that effort,
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they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position and a breach of his commitments to the president and the senator's colleagues in the house and senate." cnn's suzanne malveaux has more reaction it to manchin's decision. >> the senate and the house are on recess for the holiday, but the reaction was fast and furious. democrats, moderates as well as progressive, angry, frustrated, disappointed. all tweeting out statements over the weekend regarding this bombshell announcement that was made. congresswoman barbara lee of california tweeting that she was infuriated and disappointed that those who would be losing out would be the caregivers. and she said primarily black and brown women, children, the poor, the homeless, not to mention the climate. many provisions to protect the climate also in that bill. at the same time we heard from republicans almost uniformly, as senator john cornyn describing
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it as an early christmas gift, that this was a bill that was reckless and costly. we have seen this play out for months and months and months now, senator manchin at the center of all this, as his colleagues, progressives and moderates have tried to bring him over and convince him. he is the lone standout they need to pass this legislation, to in fact vote for it and see what he would find acceptable. they started off as a $6 trillion price tag to this. they cut it down to 3 trillion. and then about $1.75 trillion. the latest complaint from manchin was that the child tax credit extended for one year. he said, well, if you extend it for ten years, it will be a lot cos costlier. and the cbo, the congressional budget office, actually scored it as such. but his democratic colleagues came back and said first the bill you have before you is a one-year extension, not ten. that is a hypothetical. and secondly, the cbo didn't take into account any kind of
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revenue-generating mechanisms that might also be proposed and kick in during that period. so they said it really wasn't a valid complaint. there are some of his colleagues, those who are most angry, most frustrated, who are now saying they don't even believe manchin negotiated in good faith. >> i hope that we will bring a strong bill to the floor of the senate as soon as we can, and let mr. manchin explain to the people of west virginia why he doesn't have the guts to stand up to powerful special interests. if he doesn't have the courage to do the right thing for the working families of west virginia and america, let him vote no in front of the whole world. >> i spoke with senator dick durbin before they went on recess, and he said that -- he joked that if they went home to eggnog and fruitcake maybe they'd come back with better attitudes, they'd be able to negotiate. but he was optimistic they would strike a deal sometime early next year. and i asked him why, and he said, well, this is because the
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american people need this legislation, they are in desperate need of this. but clearly that argument did not hold up for senator manchin. and the question now becomes whether or not there is a piece of this bill that could be taken out, a stand-alone portion that perhaps manchin and even some republicans would support. suzanne malveaux, cnn, at the capitol. joining me now from los angeles is cnn's senior political analyst ron brownstein. always great to have you with us. >> hi, rosemary. >> so after holding out for months senator joe manchin now says he will not be supporting president biden's nearly $2 trillion build back better bill, essentially killing it off. the white house shot back saying manchin's comments are at odds with his recent conversations with the president when he pledged to keep negotiations going. so what suddenly changed, and what happens now? >> yeah. it's a complex situation. i mean, first of all, it's almost unprecedented in two different respects, what we saw
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today from senator manchin. first, i mean, presidents in their first year often have a lot of turbulence in getting their core economic agenda through. but in the end ronald reagan, bill clinton, george w. bush, barack obama, donald trump, they all passed the cornerstone of their economic plan in their first year. and this would be a break in that pattern. and the other remarkable thing is i think if you could take a census of every elected democrat from the layer of mayor up, mayor, governor, house member, senator, maybe even all of the state legislators, i think virtually if not absolutely all of them except joe manchin want to pass some version of the build back better act like what went through the house. it contains priorities for the democratic party for a decade, you know, ideas that have been accumulating since the obama presidency. universal pre-k, paid family
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leave, filling in the gaps in the affordable care act. and he is saying that his opinion alone should outweigh the entire breadth of the party. it's breathtaking, and it really is just a measure i think of his calculation of how important it is to his survival in west virginia, a state by the way that would benefit enormously from the provisions in the bill, to be seen as saying no to a democratic party that many in the state view as having veered too far to the left. >> it has shocked so many, hasn't it? what might this signal about senator manchin's likely next move politically? how can he stay in the democratic party? surely that's not sustainable. >> first of all, i don't think it is completely inconceivable that there is an agreement ahead of a much different nature of the bill. i mean, senator manchin has left some breadcrumbs if he does in fact want to get a bill.
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he has basically said he would support something at the level of 1.75 trillion, which is app enormous amount of new spending, far more than clinton or obama got in their first year. but he wants it to be for full ten-year programs, which would obviously reduce the number of programs you could fit in under that budget level. so potentially, you could imagine a world where something like the child tax credit and affordable care act and some climate, you know, meet his standard. but it's not clear that he really wants to reach a deal in the end. and it may be that the climate above all is the sticking point, that maybe all of this is kind of a smoke screen for what is the core objection as someone who's been very close to the coal industry and the fossil fuel industry, does not want the provisions in the bill that would move the u.s. away from reliance on those fields. >> i do want to pick up on that
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because senator manchin does have considerable financial interest in the coal industry and biden's build back better plan would work against those interests with the $555 billion allocated to fight climate change. is that what's going on here? >> it could be. i mean, if you look at it, joe manchin you think of as kind of a new deal democrat, a hubert humphrey democrat who opposes the cultural liberalism of the party but historically has been basically okay with the idea of government spending money to try to expand opportunity in what is a very poor state. west virginia ranks 44th in child poverty. it ranks near the bottom in the share of kids who were born premature or low birth weight. it has enormous needs and poverty. and it would benefit very directly from this bill. the projections are that the level of childhood poverty in the state would be cut in half if build back better was passed. it's kind of hard to square his
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objections to kind of the core domestic programs in this bill with both the need in his state and his previous record, which makes you wonder is there something else going on and could the something else be the climate provisions, which have already been scaled back as you know, tremendously to try to get his assent. but those -- today in his statement he really leaned on the argument that the bill would transition the u.s. away from fossil fuels too fast which i don't think there are a lot of climate scientists out there, you know, looking at the weather and what's happening with extreme weather who are worried we're moving too fast to get away from fossil fuels. but that is a flag that he raised today in his statement. >> yeah. and we'll look for more reaction on all of this in the hours ahead. ron brownstein, always a pleasure. thank you so much. >> thank you, rosemary. >> just ahead here on "cnn newsroom," israel's prime minister warns that his country has entered a fifth wave of coronavirus infections. a live report from jerusalem on how he's managing the crisis. that's next.
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back to our top story now, health experts say the omicron variant is preparing to rip through the u.s. like wildfire. cases have now been identified in almost every state, and experts say it's just a matter of time before it dominates new infections. it comes as the delta variant is already fueling a surge in covid cases and hospitalizations
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across the country. as this map shows, cases have spiked significantly in a majority of states over the last two weeks. meanwhile, omicron has already taken hold in europe, where surging cases have forced countries to impose new measures to curb the spread. the netherlands just entered a strict lockdown, closing non-essential shops and cracking down on holiday gatherings. in england the national health service is planning to treat some covid patients at home to ease the burden on hospitals. surging cases in the uk have also prompted some european governments to place new restrictions on travel to and from the country. israel is taking strong measures to slow the spread of the omicron variant. as the nation's prime minister warns that a fifth wave of covid-19 has arrived. israel has announced it's adding the u.s., canada, and eight other countries to its red no-fly list.
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so journalist elliott gotkin joins us now live from jerusalem to talk more about this. elliott, which countries are on this no-fly list and why is israel shutting out these travelers and not others perhaps? >> reporter: rosemary, the new additions to the red list, and this will go into effect at midnight local time on tuesday, that's 5:00 p.m. eastern time on tuesday, they are belgium, germany, hungary, italy, morocco, portugal, switzerland, and turkey. now, countries like the uk and denmark and the united arab emirates were already on that list, as is much of africa. and what israel's trying to do is reduce the number of imported cases of omicron into the country. it's seen already most of the 175 cases of omicron -- of the omicron variant that it has confirmed have come from people coming into the country from overseas. i should say there's also 380 cases which they deem highly suspicious. so what it's really trying to do is to buy time, reduce the number of imported cases and therefore it has more time to deal with the cases that are
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already spreading within the country and another reason why prime minister naftali bennett in his news conference on sunday evening was imploring israelis to go and get vaccinated and is especially concerned about the low take-up among children. there was a campaign for vaccinating children launched just a few weeks ago. take-up has been just around 10%. and the government wants it to be much, much higher. on top of that the other new thing that naftali bennett said in his news conference was that private sector workers if they can should work from home. and it looks like the public sector workers will follow suit. for now no sign of a lockdown of the sort we're seeing in the netherlands or other restrictions we're seeing kind of in the united kingdom. and naftali bennett and the government is really hoping that things won't come to that. but they will tighten restrictions if necessary, depending on the caseload and the spread of omicron and covid-19 in general. >> all right. elliott gotkine, joining us live from jerusalem, many thanks.
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south african president cyril ramaphosa has ended a week of isolation after he tested positive for covid-19. this comes as south africa's health minister says hospitalizations are up but still lower than previous covid-19 waves. infections are surging since the omicron variant was reported in the country last month. and david mckenzie joins us now live from johannesburg with more on this. good to see you, david. so despite a wave of omicron infections in south africa, hospitalization rates still lower than previous waves. what's going on here? >> well, substantially lower, rosemary. hospitalization and deaths they describe it as decoupling from cases. and though you've had a record level of cases and positivity rate that's currently at a staggering 30-odd percent, you still have not seen a major push on the hospitals. and that based on both the stats and just clinicians i've been talking to. here in gauteng province you're
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actually see this wave appears to be burning out a little bit. and the experience of the president now getting out of isolation after a week of mild infection is pretty common here. someone who already was with the johnson & johnson vaccine vaccinated, had a breakthrough infection, and didn't appear to get very sick. and that is just anecdotally the experience many people are having. now, scientists say it's unclear yet at this stage what is the reason behind it. is it because so many people have had covid in south africa already? some 70%, 80%. is that what's stopping severe illness? is it the 40% or so of people who've had their first vaccines at least? is that stopping severe illness? or is it something inherently with the omicron variant itself? they also warn that you can't necessarily take these lessons to other parts of the world where there's a different makeup of prior infection and vaccination. but we have been talking about this for a while now. and it's just under a month since this variant was announced
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by south african scientists and it is a clear indication that at least here in south africa and southern africa, rosemary, this wave has been less serious than others and if this holds there might have to be some discussions d about policy changes. one interesting change in the works here is the advisory council here suggested that perhaps if you've had a contact with someone who's positive there's no need to quarantine going forward. that decision hasn't been made officially. but that shows you that south african scientists and the public policy makers are starting to shift away from the thinking focusing on cases and more about learning to live with this virus. rosemary? >> that appears to be what we're going to need to do, right? david mckenzie joining us live from johannesburg. many thanks. well, chinese tennis star peng shuai is walking back allegations about sexual assault in a new interview. we will have the response from the women's tennis association
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hundreds of thousands of sudanese people marched through the nation's cities sunday. they're protesting october's military coup and marking the anniversary of demonstrations that led to the ouster of former president omar al bashir. thousands marched in front of the presidential palace in khartoum. sudan's doctors committee said several protesters were met with severe violence. well, chinese tennis star peng shuai says she never accused anyone of sexual assault. in an interview she did with a singapore newspaper. and that is despite a post on her social media account about being coerced into sex by a former senior chinese official.
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in a video of the interview she says she's always been free and that there may have been a misunderstanding. there's been some global concern for peng's well-being and about whether she's being silenced by chinese authorities. selina wang joins us live now from tokyo with more on all of this. good to see you, selina. so why are we hearing this denial now, so long after peng shuai's initial accusation was posted? and is this raising more questions than answers? >> yeah, well, rosemary a lot of questions remain unanswered. this appearance does not extinguish shuai and the women' tennis association is still calling for an investigation. but this marks the first time peng shuai has spoken to international media about those sexual assault allegations. [ audio difficulty ]
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>> all right. i have to apologize. having some audio issues there with our connection with selina wang. appreciate her joining us, though, for that. well, gabriel boric is set to be sworn in next year as the youngest president in chile's history. he defeated jose kast sunday in a runoff. rafael romo looks at how he did it and the challenges that lie ahead. >> reporter: he's 35 years old, a former student leader, and has the support of the country's communist party. gabriel boric will be chile's next president. the former congressman and leftist leader garnered more than 55% of the vote on sunday's runoff election. his rival conservative attorney jose antonio kast quickly acceded defeat saying he called boric less than two hours after polls closed. boric's visit was also recognized by current president
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piniera who had a conference call with the winner minutes later. >> translator: you are going to be one of the youngest presidents of recent times, and people should know how to combine strength, idealism and the spirit of youth with prudence and the experience of gray hair. so i want to invite you tomorrow to have a work meeting so we can talk about very important subjects for chile. >> reporter: after a tooth and nail campaign in a very polarized country, boric was ready to turn the page when he addressed chileans after winning the election. he thanked his supporters and said he will be a president for all chileans. >> translator: compatriots, i will be the president of all chileans. of those who voted for this movement. of those who today fill the squares of all of chile. of those who chose another alternative. and of those who did not vote. we will be there for you. >> reporter: boric made a lot of promises during his campaign,
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promises that could prove hard to keep. >> he's going to have a very hard time. he's confronting a deadlocked congress. he's got a constitutional convention. he's got a very fractious coalition. it's not clear what role the communist party's going to play in his coalition. whether the socialist party will join or not. and he's got a difficult economic situation. we're coming out of the pandemic and the economic fekds effects that. and as you say he's made a lot of promises that cost a lot of money. many things coming out of the constitutional convention, social and protect rights are likely to have an effect on fiscal spending. he's going to have a hard time meeting all of that. >> leaders from across latin america and the caribbean including president miguel diaz skanl of cuba and colombia's ivan dukic congratulated the new president-elect. boric will take office on march 11th for a four-year term. rafael romo, cnn, santiago, chile. the holiday season is here
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and in the united states so is a surge of travelers despite the threat of omicron. more on that in a live report after a short break. we'l'll stay with us.
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shuai says she never accused anyone of sexual assault in an interview she did with a singapore newspaper. and that is despite a post on her social media account about being coerced into sex by a former senior chinese official. selina wang joins us again. better connection now. live from tokyo. and selina, what more are you learning about this and what it perhaps means? >> reporter: well, rosemary, it does not extinguish global concerns about peng shuai's well-being and the wta is still calling for an investigation. what we do know is that this is the first time peng shuai has publicly spoken to international media about the sexual assault allegations and in this interview she denies the claims. she was speaking to a chinese language singaporean news outlet. take a listen to what she said. >> translator: i want to emphasize one thing that is very important. that i have never spoken or written about anyone sexually aassaulting me. this point is very important to be emphasized clearly. in terms of the weibo post,
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first of all, it's my personal privacy. there possibly has been a lot of misunderstanding. >> reporter: in the interview she also said she's been living at home in beijing and denied she's been under any kind of surveillance. there were also photos and videos of her posted at this event where she was speaking to the news outlet on the sidelines of a cross-country skiing event in shanghai where she was seen talking and smiling with former chinese nba star yao ming. but this does not alleviate concerns from rights groups who are still concerned that she could be being pressured into making these staged appearances. and the women's tennis association has said that these appearances are not enough. they said, "does not alleviate or address the wta's significant concerns about her well-being. we remain steadfast in our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation without censorship into an allegation of sexual assault, which is the issue that gave rise to our initial concern." this controversy, rosemary, all started when peng had made a
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1600-word post on weibo dated november 2nd alleging that i aformer chinese vice premier had sexually assaulted her in the past. that then led to her disappearance and photos and videos later resurfacing from chinese state media. but again, these concerns still persist. rosemary? >> they do. selina wang, many thanks for bringing us up to date on that situation. joining us live from tokyo. well, the latest covid wave is putting sports leagues across the u.s. in a bind with professional and college teams being forced to postpone or cancel games. cnn's nadia romero has more. >> reporter: normally this time of year would be a great time for sports fans. you've got college hoops, college football, nfl, nhl, nba. so many things to watch and enjoy. but instead it feels a lot like the very beginning of covid-19 pandemic with so many of those games being postponed or canceled. let's start with basketball. the nba today on sunday
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canceling some of its games sunday and monday. postponing those games for a later date because of covid-19. and we're talking about big name superstars on the brooklyn nets like kyrie irving and kevin durant out. we're even seeing that when it comes to college basketball, that is. 20 men's basketball games and 36 women's basketball games canceled or postponed so far this year. from the basketball court to the gridiron now, an nfl saturday doubleheader, it turned into a single showdown between the new england patriots and minneapolis colts. three games postponed in week 15 of the nfl because so many players are out on the covid-19 reserve list. more than 20 players for the cleveland browns, for the rams and the washington football team. and the nfl even saying this past weekend that they're having new protocols for asymptomatic fully vaccinated players. they're not going to at the time them on a regular basis but
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instead moving to a more targeted approach. a big change coming from the nfl. now, the nhl making a big announcement on sunday saying it will postpone 30 games between december 18th and december 23rd and that includes cross-border games. so remember, the nhl has teams in canada and the u.s., and they're citing the concerns over federal restrictions and travel concerns over the border. and that's the news coming out of the nhl this weekend. nadia romero, cnn, atlanta. well, the u.s. is seeing a jump in air travel despite increasing covid cases. the tsa screened more than 2 million passengers at u.s. airports on saturday for the third day in a row. the number of travelers over the past few days is nearly the same as pre-pandemic levels, suggesting americans are not canceling holiday travel plans despite the threat of omicron. and joining me now is our meteorologist tyler mauldin. good to see you, tyler. so how is the weather looking
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for holiday travel in the days ahead? >> hi, rosemary. so it really just depends on where you're going to be. but the united states as a whole will be seeing some fearly active weather over the next five days as we head into christmas eve and christmas day. couple of the trouble spots will be down here across the southeast and then up here across the pacific northwest. and then across the extreme northern tier of the country as multiple clipper systems move across. we'll start down here with the gulf of mexico where an area of low pressure's going to be gathering strength and pushing to the northeast. that's going to spread a lot of rainfall over the deep south over the next 48 to 72 hours. probably up to four to five inches in some areas. across the pac northwest going on into the northern rock yez we do have winter weather aalerts up. more than a foot of snow, additional snow, that is, could be dealt with up there. in addition, we also have flood alerts in effect because the area of low pressure is going to expand. it's going to drop down to the south. it's going to pick up on some
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pacific moisture called an atmospheric river and that river's just going to come streaming over and that means a lot of rainfall and also a lot of snowfall in very short order. as you can see here, a lot of accumulating snowfall and rainfall in the days to come. this is great for the snowpack and great for the drought out there across the west, though. it's not going to feel like christmas this week for many of us across 2/3 of the country. we have above average heat pushing to the east. case in point, atlanta, georgia, it's going to feel like the it close to 70 degrees once we get to christmas day, and that will be the case for many of us across the east. so rosemary, as i said earlier, i can assure you here in atlanta we're not going to be dealing with a white christmas but across new england and across portions of the great lakes and going on into the west that's where we have the highest probability this time of the year to see a white christmas. >> all right. love it. thank you so much, tyler mauledin. appreciate it. and thank you for your company.
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i'm rosemary church. have yourself a wonderful day. "cnn newsroom" continues now with issa soares. fries or salad? salad! good choice! it is. so is screening for colon cancer. when caught in early stages, it's more treatable. hey, cologuard! hi, i'm noninvasive and i detect altered dna in your stool to find 92% of colon cancers even in early stages. early stages. it's for people 45 plus at average risk for colon cancer, not high risk. false positive and negative results may occur. ask your provider if cologuard is right for you. (all) to screening!
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. hello, and a very warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the united states and right around the world. i'm isa soares. >> there's a tsunami coming. it will be a tough few weeks to months as we get deeper into the winter. >> if you are unvaccinated with this variant, you are going to get infected. >> i wish everybody would go and get the vaccine tomorrow. >> sounding the


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