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thanks for joining us. the news continues right here on cnn. ♪ coming up this hour on "cnn newsroom", twin threats. the w.h.o. warns of a tsunami of patients as two dangerous variants of the coronavirus, omicron and delta, spread around the world infecting more people than ever before. ghislaine maxwell is a sex trafficker, guilty of grooming young girls to be sexually abused by at least one pedophile, her long-time confidante, jeffrey epstein. at the request of the
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russian government, joe biden and vladimir putin will speak by phone thursday about the build up of russian military forces on ukraine's border. ♪ live from cnn center, this is "cnn newsroom" with john vors. welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. the beginning of the pandemic's third calendar year is days away with daily covid infections at all-time highs averaging more than a million a day worldwide according to johns hopkins university. for the first time the united states averaging more than 300,000 new cases a day, the highest number since the pandemic began and more than any other country in the world. there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the new omicron variant, but there is agreement that the numbers are certain to rise. while 2021 was the year of the vaccine with national immunization programs begin in many countries, the death toll
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from covid compared to the year before without vaccines has almost doubled. according to data again from johns hopkins university and the w.h.o., more than 1.8 million people died from covid in 2020. this year, the virus claimed about 3.5 million lives. the head of the world health organization says with the twin threat of omicron and delta and without a collective global response, this pandemic is set to get worse. >> delta and omicron are twin threats that are driving up cases to record numbers. i'm highly concerned that omicron, being more transmissible, circulating at the same time as delta is leading to a tsunami of cases. >> and here in the united states, the national guard being deployed to more states to support health care workers already exhausted after months of rising hospital admissions. now with omicron in the mix, new forecasting from the centers for disease control predicts 44,000
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new covid deaths over the next month. cnn's alexander field has our lead story this hour. >> repor . >> this was the moment we needed to make that decision. >> reporter: facing the biggest covid surge we have ever seen, the cdc director defending the decision to cut isolation time in half for infected people who are asymptomatic or whose symptoms are getting better. >> it really had a lot to do with what we thought people would be able to tolerate. if we can get them to isolate, we do want to make sure that they're isolating in the first five days when they're maximally infectious. >> reporter: the cdc arguing 85% to 90% of transmission occurs in the first five days of sim pom onset. still, the new guidance is drawing fierce debate among health experts. >> there is absolutely no data that i'm aware about with the omicron variant that supports people coming out of isolation five days after they were first diagnosed with the virus. >> you either shut down society,
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which no one wants to do, or you try and get a situation where you can safely get people back, particularly to critical jobs, without having them be out for a full ten days. >> reporter: long testing lines are still snaking across the country. new cases are skyrocketing to numbers never seen before. deaths and hospitalizations, key indicators at this moment, are also climbing but not as quickly. >> are we seeing lower hospitalization rates because omicron is less virulent or are we seeing lower hospitalization rates because we do have a considerable amount of the population that is vaccinated? >> reporter: booster shots for younger teens may now be just weeks away, says the cdc, while younger children remain the least vaccinated age group in the country. >> the vast majority of children that are infected with covid have mild infection, but you do have to be aware that that does put your child at risk for hospitalization and puts your
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child at risk for transmitting to other people in their classroom. >> reporter: washington, d.c. schools now requiring a negative test for teachers and students to come back to class. with the peak of the surge likely still ahead of us, dr. fauci again warning people to take precautions ahead of another new year. >> if your plans are to go to a 40 to 50-person new year's eve party with all of the bells and whistles and everybody hugging and wishing each other a happy new year, i would strongly wekd we don't do that. >> reporter: alexander field, cnn new york. with us from sacramento in california, dr. nicholas sawyer, board certified emergency physician at the uc davis medical center. thank you for being with us. >> thanks for having me, john. >> so the key issue here seems to be how is omicron compared to delta and the previous variants in terms of hospital admissions, icu treatments and need for
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oxygen. we have the latest numbers from the white house medical advisor, dr. fauci. listen to this. >> covid-19 hospital admissions from the omicron wave were compared to admissions from previous waves. here is the comparison. on hospital deaths, 4.5 versus 21.3. icu admissions, 1% from omicron and 4.3% for others. 45% of patients required supplemental oxygen with omicron compared to 99% in a prior wave. >> the numbers are quite stark, but a lower hospitalization rate doesn't guarantee fewer people needing hospital care, does it? are you expecting a bigger surge compared to previous pandemic waves? >> i am. i am expecting there to be a large wave coming, and we're all sort of bracing for it because we've been at this for 20
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months. it seems a little bit early in the pandemic as cases are spiking to be able to look at the early data, to be able to really forecast what is going to happen. i'm really pleased to be on tonight because those of us who work in emergency medicine and in the icus and have been on the front line, really dealing with overwhelming capacity of patients seeking care as well as critical nursing shortages, are really, really concerned about what is coming. i worked today and had a shift, and we had a lot of patients coming in. all of the patients i had today were unvaccinated and coming in because they had covid and were feeling unwell. >> every time we have underestimated this pandemic or this virus, it seems to turn around and bite us really badly. we always seem to get it wrong. >> yes, that's right. it is something that i don't think we should down play. as we continue to down play each
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one of these waves it does, it continues to come around and bite us. you know, we are seeing different hospitals around the country, and there are many of my colleagues who have been on the news recently talking about critical capacity shortages, and with that leads to is it leads to reduced quality of care potentially, an everybody is just really exhausted. we're sort of hoping for people to take this more seriously and show some kindness to one another and kindness to people who have been on the front lines for so many months. >> yes. >> to make it through the next month because it is going to be difficult. >> yes, it is good advice. we also have these new guidelines for self-isolation, down from ten days to five, no need for a negative test for anyone who has been in contact with someone with covid or tested positive for covid but has no symptoms. i want you to listen to director of the cdc explaining why testing is no longer a requirement for ending
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isolation. here she is. >> we have to not have the rapid test for isolation because we actually don't know how our rapid test perform and how well they predict whether you are transmissible during the end of disease. the fda has not authorized them for that use. we don't know how they perform. >> so, what, rapid tests are no longer reliable? what does the current science say about all of these changes? are they justified? >> it is -- it is difficult because before that she had said that we're trying to deal with the realities of what is happening and what is feasible and what we can ask of people during this period of time. so as we are figuring out the science behind these rapid antigen tests we know that they may be slightly less effective at detecting coronavirus. we also want to try to make things more feasible for people so they can actually comply. given the fact that people are most infectious the first two days before and about three days
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after they start to show symptoms, i think it is more reasonable to ask people to quarantine for five days rather than ten days because they might actually do that. >> yes, but i guess one of the keys here is that in the past you had to get a negative test before the isolation period was coming to an end and now that's sort of out the window. it is all part of the confusion here because right now we are getting the message that an increasing number of people catching covid but at the same time omicron is not so bad, just take care over the holidays. it is the twin messages of doom and gloom, but everything will be okay, don't worry about it. >> i agree it is confusing. i would like to see more direct messaging about the things we can do to reduce the potential impact of this winter and covid, because ultimately overwhelmed hospitals impact everybody. whether you are coming to a hospital because you have abdominal pain and think you
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have appendicitis or you have been in a car accident or whatever reason that it is, if we have more covid patients who are in the emergency diplomat with c department with covid or in the hospital with covid, it leads to longer wait times for everybody and could adversely affect everybody that seeks care. that's one of the biggest concerns we have. i think that more direct guidance and more straight talk based on that understanding and the stuff we see every day is a good point. >> thank you very much, doctor. best of luck for the coming days and weeks. we appreciate everything that you do. >> thank you. well, after deliberating for five long days the jury in the ghislaine maxwell sex trafficking trial has returned a guilty verdict for her role in helping the pedophile, jeffrey epstein, sexually abuse seen age girls. the british socialite now faces up to 65 years in prison for recruiting and grooming four girls for her former boyfriend and associate. >> justice has been done. i want to commend the bravery of
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the girls, now grown women, who stepped out of the shadows and into the courtroom. their courage and willingness to face their abuser made today's result and this case possible. >> we firmly believe in ghislaine's innocence. obviously we are very disappointed with the verdict. we have already started working on the appeal, and we are confident that she will be vindicated. >> maxwell's family left the courthouse without comment, but a statement which was released later by her brother says the family firmly believes in her innocence. more details now on the trial from cnn's randi kaye. >> reporter: a british socialite in a trial focused on her twisted behavior. ghislaine maxwell, now guilty of five of the six counts against her. the three-week trial included key testimony from four women who allege jeffrey epstein sexually abused them and maxwell not only helped facilitate but in some cases participated in
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that abuse, between 1994 and 2004. the women at the time were younger than 18. >> maxwell was among epstein's closest associates and helped him exploit girls who were as young as 14 years old. >> reporter: maxwell was found guilty of the most serious charge of sex trafficking a girl named carolyn between 2001 and 2004 when she was a minor and just 14 years old. carolyn had told the court that she was paid hundreds of dollars every time she engaged in a sexualized massage with epstein and recruited other young girls for him. carolyn recalled on the stand how maxwell groped her naked body on one visit when she was just 14, telling her she had a great body for epstein and his friends. in court defense attorneys tried to suggest carolyn made inconsistent statements about her timeline, but it seems the jury didn't buy that. another one identified at trial
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only as jane testified she was shh when she endured abuse that included oral sex and intercourse, testifying that sometimes maxwell took part in the sex acts. another girl named annie farmer told the court back in 1996 when she was 16 maxwell massaged her bare chest at epstein's new mexico ranch. overall the defense argued the women were misremembering or lying for personal gain or adding maxwell to their stories only at the government's suggestion. epstein's former pilots also testified. he flew epstein for nearly 30 years. he called maxwell's epstein's number two. his, quote, go-to person. the pilot also testified he flew maxwell and epstein along with some very high-profile passengers but never saw any sexual activity on board the aircraft. in court the defense tried to paint maxwell as a scapegoat for a man who behaved badly. that man being epstein, who
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maxwell dated in the 1990s. the two remained close after the relationship ended. epstein himself later faced charges of running a sex trafficking ring. he took his life in prison while awaiting trial in 2019. so now it is ghislaine maxwell's turn to answer for the crimes, and having just celebrated her 60th birthday in prison, she could spend the rest of her life behind bars. randi kaye, cnn, palm beach county, florida. cnn legal analyst tereasa martin joins me from los angeles. good to see you. >> hi, john. >> the jury took five days before reaching a guilty verdict. the common thinking was the longer they deliberated the more likely they were to acquit. guilty of five of the six counts. does that come as a price to you? >> not really, john. we saw something similar happen with respect to the kim potter trial. they took approximately four days and came back with guilty verdicts on the two counts that she was charged with.
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so i think the traditional wisdom about how long juries are out, you know, is not holding true in this modern day. juries are taking longer but seemingly that time is being used to be very methodical about the evidence that's presented in the trial process. >> yeah, there was a lot of evidence and they did ask the judge a number of questions regarding the testimony especially. what was your take on the defense strategy though? do you think the old tactics, trying to discredit the survivors who testified, attacking their credibility, portraying them as opportunists looking for a payday? >> it is old, it is tired and it didn't work, john. we have seen it happen time and time again where you attack the victims, you suggest they're lying, you say they're motivated by money. you challenge their memories of events, and jurors are more sophisticated than that. we've heard too many experts tell us oftentimes victims don't have very clear memories about the trauma they've experienced. women, we are in a different era. women are being believed. when they come forward and have
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the courage to step up like these four women did and to testify against their abusers, to confront their abusers in court, we are seeing those women are believed. this is very different than even ten years ago when women who testified about sexual abuse were often themselves maligned. i think the defense's strategy of trying to attack these women and suggest somehow maxwell wasn't responsible, even though there was a trove of evidence against her, was clearly rejected by this jury. >> one down and a big one, but what about all of the others. what about the high-powered and famous men that palled around with epstein who are accused of sexually abusing young girls, how soon before they are on trial? >> i think, john, they should be very concerned. i cannot imagine anything other than these prosecutors being emboldened. we know they've already said this investigation is ongoing. we know that there were, as you said, men who were a part of the sex ring who had sex apparently with these minor girls, you
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know, at various estates owned by epstein. the prosecutors know who these men are. i would suspect they're putting together cases against some of them and we may see some additional indictments and trials moving forward against some of these men. clearly, anyone involved in sexually abusing a minor, you know, causing young girls to give them massages, you know, have oral sex, engage in the kind of sexual acts we heard about in this trial should be held accountable and brought to justice. >> what we saw in this trial is that the women who testified, all from very different background, but gave similar accounts as to how they were recruited and groomed by maxwell. that seemed crucial in this conviction on sex trafficking charges and that strategy will be crucial moving forward for the other trials. >> i think so, john. it was remarkable when you heard the women testify, even though, as you said, they were from very different background, their encounters with jeffrey epstein happened in different locations, at different times, but yet their stories, the narratives
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they told about their experiences with both maxwell and epstein were very, very similar. i think that was very persuasive to this jury to have four different women recount very similar facts about being groomed, about being enticed by maxwell to engage in this sexual conduct, and then maxwell herself in many instances participating in the sexual acts, herself groping, as we know, one of the women's breasts that came forward to testify. very, very graphic details about the sexual encounters of these very young girls. i couldn't help but imagine that the case would be persuasive and that we would have the outcome that we saw today. >> we also hear that the legal team defending maxwell plans to appeal. what could be the possible grounds for an appeal here? >> well, we expect the legal team to say that. defense attorneys routinely, you know, look for errors, reversible errors. one area that i wouldn't be surprised that is the subject of appeal is this issue about the photographs.
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you know, john, the judge allowed in these photographs of maxwell and epstein, some very intimate photographs, and the defense objected very strenuously to those photographs coming into evidence. they said they were prejudicial, they were repetitive, they were cumulative and the judge allowed many of those photographs in anyhow. i would expect that's one of the grounds that we should see an appeal. i don't think an appeal of this case will be successful. appeals in criminal cases like this are rarely successful, but, look, she is entitled to the best legal defense she can afford and we know she is a very wealthy woman. i wouldn't expect anything less than her legal team to move forward with an appeal, but i think today was a good day for victims, it was a good day for these four victims and it was a good day for the me too movement. this is the first case, high-profile case that involved a female defendant who has been charged and now convicted of sexual assault as it relates to women. >> yeah, good point, areva. thank you so much. good to see you. >> thanks, john.
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coming up here on "cnn newsroom", another phone call over the crisis on ukraine's border. presidents putin and biden set to talk in the coming hours. a report from moscow after the break. also ahead, the aunited ara emirates seeking to gain more leverage. we'll explain. ♪ ♪ experience the power of sanctuary at the lincoln wish list event.
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for the second time in weeks and in just a few hours time u.s. president biden and russian president putin will be on the phone. apparently relations have reached a low and are getting worse. the white house believes it could be a prelude to invasion. it is expected to set the stage for the meeting in geneva aimed at ending the ukraine crisis. nic robertson reporting from moscow. >> reporter: the clock is ticking down to the phone call between president biden and president putin. president putin has requested it. the white house says that president biden believes in the diplomacy of leadership-to-leadership conversations, and that's why he is taking the call. but at the same time u.s. officials are saying they're not seeing russia do anything to reduce tensions along the border
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with ukraine. they say there's still a heavy russian troop presence close to the border with ukraine, and the message that's coming from the white house at the moment is that if russia wants to achieve its aims and get clarity from nato about its intent over ukraine, then it is better done in an atmosphere of de-escalating tensions, that there needs to be a really high-level of engagement for russia to sort of go towards its aims at the january 10th talks when russian and u.s. officials sit down to talk together. we understand that those talks, there will be pentagon officials, state department officials, national security council officials as well. from the russian side, we know there will be a strong presence, they say, from their ministry of defense. so the context is being laid out here, it seems, ahead of those talks on january 10th that russia still has a long way to go, you know, if it wants to achieve its aims, which already seem a big stretch for nato to
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concede to. another point from the white house as well, that if russia does choose to invade ukraine, then nato will surge troops and put additional troops along the eastern flank of europe, and that also is something that is not going to sit well with russia. one u.s. official describing this situation, these current tensions still at a crisis point. nic robertson, cnn, moscow. almost 70 years after the korean war ended in a cease-fire, the u.s. and south korea appear close to declaring a formal end to the cold war conflict. the foreign minister say washington and seoul agreed on a declaration ending the war. north korea recently dismissed such a declaration as premature because of, quote, hostile u.s. policies. but the u.s. state department says the u.s. has no hostile intentions towards north korea, willing to meet with pyongyang without conditions.
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>> for more than 40 years the uae has been considered a vital american ally in the middle east, a stabilizing force with the ability to punch above its waist because of an oversized military. now there's a new approach from the united arab emirates moving away from fire power to soft power, switching from flexing muscle to mending fences. mere is cnn's sam kiley. >> reporter: it is all a bit out of date now. then dubbed little sparta, the united arab emirates took a muscular approach to foreign policy. supporting nato in afghanistan. making war in yemen. backing rebels in libya. it didn't work. criticized by human rights groups in the u.n., the emirate is out of yemen and out of punching its way to recognition. it is a move from war to jaw. >> so he said that began in 2018 in our final days of presence in
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yemen, that said that was -- that was influenced by the whole covid ordeal. i think from that reset, we realized that the challenges of the next decade are not necessarily the same challenges of the past decade. >> reporter: the emirates' shift is from taking sides to bringing opposing sides together. >> we are going to be an influencer in the region, but our influence is going to be through different tools, through this sort of diplomatic navigation, through keeping this balance between all these different relationships that we have. >> reporter: that's already meant snubbing u.s. appeals for more sanctions on iran, controversial outreach to syria's dictator bashar al assad and warming relations with turkey. the emirates has met an american request to halt construction of what the u.s. says was a secret chinese military intelligence
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facility inside a sea port, but it ignored u.s. appeals to cancel chinese tech giant huawei's installation of 5g networks. the u.s. is still the emirate's most important ally, but it is seen as an unreliable friend after the sudden evacuation from kabul and years of chaos in iraq. now the emirates have suspended talks over buying $23 billion worth of f-35 stealth fighters from the u.s., citing technical issues and concerns that american restrictions on future use eat into emirati sovereigty. the loss of the aircraft sales is a blow to u.s. arms exports. but not to the emirates' air force, which has done a $19 billion deal for 80 french fighters. now that the emiratis are opening their arms to friend and foe, they may not need america's stealth fighters anyway. sam kiley, cnn, abu dhabi.
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still to come, the rise and rise of the omicron variant with several countries in europe now seeing unprecedented numbers of covid infections. also ahead, naming and shaming and public humiliation in china for those caught breaking pandemic rules. the very latest live from beijing when we come back. y thi. the real honey you love... plus the powerful cough relief you need. mind if i root through your trash? now get powerful relief with robitussin elderberry. when it comes to autism, finding the right words can be tough. finding understanding doesn't have to be. together, we can create a kinder, more inclusive world for the millions of people on the autism spectrum. go to
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to be brave. to show up. for staying connected. the questions they weren't able to ask. show up for the first day of school, the last day at their current address. for the mornings when everything's wrong. for the manicure that makes everything right, for right now. show up, however you can, for the foster kids who need it most— at this is cnn, the world's news network. ♪ welcome back to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. you're watching "cnn newsroom". returning to the stunning surge of covid-19 cases and two global figures that should deeply concern us all. global cases averaging more than
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1 million a day for the first time since the pandemic began. that's according to data tracked by johns hopkins university. covid deaths have nearly doubled this year compared to 2020, despite this being the year of the vaccine. more nan 5,400,000 total people worldwide have died from the coronavirus. right now several nations across europe reporting record highs of covid-19 infections. cnn's salma abdelaziz has more reporting from london. >> reporter: the omicron variant continues to drive unprecedented infection rates across europe. the french health minister saying he got vertigo looking at the records. he revealed every two seconds people were testing positive in france. more than 200,000 positive cases were reported in a 24-hour period, the highest number seen in france since the start of the pandemic. similar scenes in the uk, skyrocketing infection rates, but across the globe these infection rates are not turning into the rate of hospitalization
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and death we have seen during previous waves. that's why prime minister boris johnson says no tougher restrictions are needed for now. the prime minister was at a vaccination center pushing the message to get boosted. >> the omicron variant continues to cause real problems. we are seeing cases rising in hospitals, but it is obviously milder than the delta variant and we're able to proceed in the way that we are. but that's one reason and one reason only why we are able to do that, and that's because there's such a huge proportion of the british public have come forward to get vaccinated, and particularly to get boosted. >> reporter: now, the uk has seen an increase of hospitalizations of about 25% in the last week according to publicly available data, but omicron is also presenting another challenge. just keeping basic services
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running. tens of thousands of people, of course, testing positive every day many, many sick-outs. thousands of flights have been cancelled in recent days as airlines struggle to stay staffed. that's why some governments are looking at potentially reducing the isolation period. spain has made a move to do this and other governments considering the reduction in isolation period as well to keep basic services running. salma abdelaziz, cnn, london. mass lockdowns apparently may not be doing the trick in china so public shaming has returned for those who break covid-19 protocols. steven jiang standing by in beijing. explain where and how the shaming is taking place and is it working? >> reporter: well, john, you know we were talking about how what is happening in xi'an is déjà vu of what happened in wuhan, but this incident is the worst déjà vu because it reminds people of the worst, darkest
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period in the mao revolution in the '60s and '70s, when political enemies were treated in this manner. this took place on tuesday with four suspects in full hazmat shoots with mug shots printed on plaque arlds hanging around their necks marched through the streets of a border town in southern china. their alleged crime was helping others to cross the border, obviously a serious offense by the local authorities as china continues to largely close its borders to the outside world and tightens its covid regulations. now, this incident obviously because of the striking visuals caused quite a stir online and with state media outlets starting to chime in as well. of course, there are supportive voices saying it is needed to act as a deterrence, but growing number of voices of opposition
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including the state media outlet "the beijing news" saying it is a serious violation of the spirit of the rule of law and should never happen again. as of now, the local government stands firm, saying they are -- they were meant to send a strong warning to the local population not to break immigration and covid laws and regulations, and they see nothing inappropriate about this. the whole irony, john, is of course the government in beijing has been touting the effectiveness of its zero covid policy and saying how it shows they put people first and it shows the superiority of their political system. but incidents like this shows at least at the local level officials just have total disregard for human rights and human dignity. john. >> steven, thank you. steven jiang live for us in beijing. we will take a short break. when we come back, in capetown, south africa, mourners are gathering to honor the late archbishop desmond tutu. all of the details in just a moment.
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a funeral procession for the late archbishop desmond tutu was scheduled for today, did latest event in a week filled with remembrances. mourners have been arising at st. georges cathedral where his body will lie in state. a small funeral for the nobel laureate and anti-apartheid leader will be held on any year's day. like he did in life and death, the arch as he was known, is bringing people together from different backgrounds, people with different points of views and interests. ♪ >> among them, religious leaders, politicians, family members gathering at capetown city hall for an interfaith service on wednesday. cnn's david mckenzie has details. >> reporter: archbishop desmond tutu wasn't from capetown, but, in fact, it is the city most
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associated with the great man. on wednesday there was a tribute to desmond tutu, an interfaith tribute that really got the memorials going in earnest. the famous table mountain is lit up every night now and every day at noon this is the sound ringing out from st. georges cathedral. [ bell tolling ] >> st. georges is known as the people's cathedral. it was a key focal point of the anti-apartheid struggle because of desmond tutu, who would sometimes lead protest marches from the church itself. there will be two days on thursday and friday for ordinary citizens to pay their respects to the great man who was, in many ways, a moral compass of south africa. and then a service, a funeral will be held on the first day of 2022, in keeping with his humble way of operating desmond tutu
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asked for a simple coffin and a simple service to send him off. it certainly will be the ending of a chapter of a great icon of the anti-apartheid struggle. david mckenzie, cnn, south africa tutu's daughter recently shared what she will miss most about her father. >> i will miss just knowing that this is the place to be hugged, the place to -- daddy was a hugger. he hugged. anybody who knows him will know that he hugged. even when we went and we saw him and after he had died lying in the bed, we climbed on to the bed to hug him because that is so much who he was, the daddy who always hugged, who always
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kissed us, who was so open with the fact that he loved us. >> and stay with us. we will have live coverage of tributes to the arch as they happens in south africa in the coming hours. u.s. president joe biden has ordered flags lowered to half staff in honor of the late senator harry reid who died tuesday after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer. he is remembered as one of the great senate majority leaders in history. the president said, quote, harry reid was instrumental in passing landmark legislation that made a positive difference in the lives of countless americans and made our nation stronger and safer. his service was not about power for power's sake. it was the power to do right by the american people. to say least 2021 was an eventful year for the british monarchy. when we come back, from the loss of a loved one to concern over
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the queen's health, we will look back at top controversial moments after the break.
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ten minutes before the top of the hour. the british royal mint has unveiled two new coins to celebrate queen elizabeth's platinum jubilee. the coin inventor alexander graham bell and the 2022 games in birmingham will be available. the coins go on sale next thursday. 2021 has opinion another r been another rollercoaster year, to the loss of prince gilphilipd accusations of racism and abuse. >> reporter: for the royal family, 2021 was punctuated by loss. >> in the month since the death of my beloved phillip, i have drawn great comfort, of the warmth and affection to the tributes to his life and work. >> reporter: husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, the man she describes as her strength and
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stay, no longer by her side, after 73 years of personal and professional partnership. [ gunfire ] one image lingers from his funeral, that spoke to her loss, and so many others, who are left on their own because of covid. but it didn't slow her down. the queen, back at her desk, while she was still officially in mourning. until doctors advised her to rest in october, following a hospital stay and preliminary investigations into an undisclosed condition. later, compounded by a back strain. >> it's a punishing schedule for someone who is 95. no one would criticize her and everyone would support her in stepping back an doing a bit less. >> reporter: she gave up national travel some years ago. prince charles represented her in barbados in september, in a ceremony to replace her for head
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of state by an appointed president. it marked the end of british rule and a long-awaited reconciliation with the island's colonial past. >> the appalling atrocity of slavery, that forever stains our history, the people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude. >> reporter: it wasn't the first time that race came up for the family in 2021. >> concerns in conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born. >> reporter: prince harry and meghan, the duchess of sussex, went rogue, telling all to oprah win winfrey, on why they felt the need to get out. >> it raised serious allegations of racism. also of rifts within family, difficulties between prince harry and his father, the differences between him and his brother. it really was a very opening up of things that have been kept
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private by the royal family. >> reporter: the queen issued a statement, acknowledging the allegations, and committing to address them. whilst also pointedly noting that recklations may vary. the family kept calm and carried on until william was fired an unsolicited question. a racist family, sir? the queen's youngest son spoke to cnn but wouldn't be drawn on is sussex saga. >> we've all been there before. we've had excessive intrusion and intepntional lies. we wish them the very best. >> reporter: the palace has continued to distance itself from prince andrew publicly, pursued by the fbi in recent years for sexual abuse allegations. accused for a civil suit this year, claiming the royal assaulted her when she was 17.
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prince andrew has repeatedly delayed all wrongdoing. regardless of how the impending trial unfolds. >> i think the royal brand has taken a battering in 2021. all sides. we had the fallout from the oprah interview. prince andrew's ongoing legal issues. these are all things that really should have dented the monarchy. but i think the key players have just simply kept calm and carried on. >> reporter: in february 2022, the queen will celebrate her platinum jubilee, the only british monarch to do so, having ascended the throne 70 years ago in 1952. the firm is keen to focus attention on that and the success of the queen's entire reign, rather than a tumultuous 12 months.
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>> thank you for watching "cnn newsroom." i'm john vause. stay with us. i'll be back after a short break with a lot more news. you're watching cnn. when heartburn hits, fight back fast with tums chewy bites. fast heartburn relief in every bite. crunchy outside, chewy inside. ♪ tums, tums, tums, tums ♪ tums chewy bites
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earn about covid-19, the more questions we have. the biggest question now, what's next? what will covid bring in six months, a year?
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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. coming up here on "cnn newsroom," twin threats. two dangerous variants of the coronavirus, omicron and delta, spread around the world, infecting more people than ever before. ghislaine maxwell is a sex trafficker. guilty of grooming young girls
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for one pedpedophile, her long-e associate jeffrey epstein. and at the request of the russian government, joe biden and vladimir putin will speak by phone on thursday, about the military buildup of russian forces on ukraine's border. live, from cnn center, this is "cnn newsroom" with john vause. >> welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. we begin this hour with the pandemic, entering a third calendar year, now just days away, with covid infections at all-time highs. averaging more than 1 million a day worldwide, according to johns hopkins university. and the united states is averaging 300,000 daily cases, the highest number since the pandemic began. while there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the omicron variant, there's agreement, the numbers are


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