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tv   CNN Newsroom With Pamela Brown  CNN  January 16, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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tonight millions of americans hunkering down as a vicious winter storm pummels the united states, causing mass power outages. >> if you haven't already, now is the time to get prepared. this storm is a menace. >> and hostages safely rescued after a near 11-hour ordeal at a texas synagogue. a hero rabbi is praised by the community. >> the rabbi is generally the best man anyone could ever meet. >> and the fbi releases new
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information about the suspected hostage taker. a battle ahead in the case of omicron as cases spike. >> we are seeing high case numbers and hospitalization rates. the good news is there are parts of the country where we're starting to see a plateau and in some cases an early decline in cases. good evening, everyone. thank you so much for joining me. i'm poppy harlow in new york tonight in for pamela brown in the cnn newsroom. a long weekend for many americans is proving to be no holiday thanks to a huge winter storm. right now 80 million people are in winter weather alerts across the east. the storm will kpexit the south tonight and begin its march up through new england. the carolinas have been especially hard hit. north carolina's governor said some areas of 12 inches of snow and the added danger of ice underneath, more than two dozen counties have declared a state of emergency.
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across the southeast, some 280,000 homes and businesses are without power tonight. and the weight of freezing rain and high winds brought down trees, as you can see right there. widespread damage is also reported around fort myers, florida, after the same storm whipped up both suspected and confirmed tornadoes this morning. in an ef-2 tornado damaged more than 100 mobile homes in that area. the birthday of martin luther king jr. tomorrow. hundreds of flights have been canceled today and more than that delayed. we'll be following the path of this enormous storm and its damage. polo sandoval is in pittsburgh where it's arriving. diane, let's begin with you. icy in spots? >> even those spots that got a
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lot of snow, ice is underneath that snow. i want you to take this live drone footage in and around charlotte. they've cleared off those roads but as you can see, they are wet. that's the concern, there will be another freeze overnight. they've already dealt with 200 accidents in the state. there are several large accidents they're currently dealing with around the state at this point. officials have said, look, please just don't drive. you probably don't know how to drive in these conditions and they're only going to get worse, even though it seems like the conditions have stopped briefly. >> for today the best way to avoid a car accident or getting stranded is to stay put. fewer people on the road means fewer car crashes. plus it allows highway crews and utility workers to get faster results. if you must travel, reduce your speed, increase your following
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distance and be sure to clear all the snow and ice off your vehicle before traveling. >> now, to give you an idea, what i'm talking about poppy, can you hear it? this is hard. this is fleet that's frozen. it's already starting to rain a little bit. we're seeing that freeze over again. the other big concern, of course, is power outages. over 90,000 across the state of north carolina right now. they're anticipating more as the ice weighs down those tree branches, potentially bringing down power lines. approximately all flights coming out of charlotte international airport had to be canceled today. >> i hope people stay off the roads there. let's move north with the path of this storm. polo sandoval is in pittsburgh. polo, what are they doing to prepare? >> in the last hour, you could still see the road. you're really seeing that snowfall increase, and the national weather service is
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saying late this evening we could potentially see two inches an hour around pittsburgh. they're calling for no more than 7 or 8 inches. so they have decreased those snow amounts, but pittsburgh, what makes it different than other major cities experiencing this weather is city officials as recently as friday recognized that during the last major snow event, which was maybe a week and a half ago, that their response fell short and basically did not anticipate a refreeze event, so there were many side streets that became a frozen mess, paralyzing neighborhoods and forcing school cancellations. we heard from pittsburgh's new mayor as early as friday that residents can expect a significant improvement in the response. for the most part, we have seen that. you've seen plows on the roads but also on the sidewalks, making sure the roads are clear, anticipating a refreeze event. it is going to be a holiday weekend here, it is a holiday weekend, so they expect that most people will stay off the roads. school was not scheduled for
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tomorrow, anyway, so they're really hoping people stay off the road. and really the big message we're getting from folks is stay home and cheer on the steelers rather than brave this weather. >> that's a good reason to stay home, right? polo, thank you very much. now our meteorologist tom seder joins me now. we're so glad to have you on a night like this. what is in store? >> in some cases, poppy, it's just really ramping up. other areas it's improving and things are going quite well. when you look at these warnings, though, we've been showing you, just yesterday the warnings looked just like this but they were coming out of the dakotas and iowa. 14 inches in des moines, parts of minnesota, missouri and illinois. but you get down to arkansas, how about mississippi up to 9 inches. once again, it's almost like a big horse d shoe. the comma shape you're seeing on
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radar is it like a big oppression. it's inland, so it makes it tricky on that i-95 corridor. closer in, nashville, you're in the clear just south of brentwood. how about 9.8 inches of snowfall? you got 9 inches in mississippi. in the latlanta area, they were hoping for more, the kids espe especially. raleigh saw theirs turn to rain as temperatures were warming. notice how the rain is lifting northward. so areas that have been picking up snowfall really, some of the i-95 areas will see it turn to rain. this gets tricky when you talk about washington, d.c. and baltimore. does the warm air move in or the cold air lock in place? however, new york city is not under any advisory, boston is not. you don't have to go far to the west to really get in on this.
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again, here's the track it's in inland. that's great for areas east of i-95, but significant snowfall and not just a few inches. we're talking eight, nine, 10, 12, a little more than that in some areas. this is accompanied by winds howling in the deep south. thought we would lose power from that alone. on the other end of this storm, we're talking about tornadoes. yes, you can have them in florida in the month of january, however, it's been six years. but watch what happened. we have not one, but now we're confirming two tornadoes from the national weather service and tampa, and they both had destructive winds. the first one up around charlotte county, ef-1, but then down closer to areas to the south, three communities, mobile home communities with winds up to 118 miles per hour. this is an ef-2. this moved in substantial damage. it was around 7:35 in the morning, only lasted five
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minutes, but 108 homes were damaged, 30 completely destroyed, some off their foundations and three injuries from this tornado. to the one to the north, good news, poppy, no injuries. the threat is over with as that system is now off the east coast of florida. but we've got much more to talk about. i'll be back in a few minutes. icing is significant, so we'll talk about that. who is seeing better weather conditions, who is going to see worse power outages, and believe it or not, the weather models want to give us another one in five or six days. we'll touch on everything. >> buckle up. tom, we're seeing everything. let's give more detail on what tom just mentioned across south florida. this is near fort myers. look at that. you can see the debris swirling around, this confirmed tornado, powerful ef-2. affiliate wbbh confirmed a tornado plowed into the punta rossa community. >> it lifted me up off my feet and blew me, i thought, toward
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the east wall, i believe it would have been, and under the sink. but instead it was turning the house upside down. i thought i was looking down at the floor and i was actually looking up. >> i seen the twister debris flying around. my wife was still in the house. i screamed, get dressed. our landlord behind us, he has concrete for a foundation with enough to stand. we made it inside and ten seconds later it hit. glass flying everywhere. we came out and saw all this. >> officials say 108 mobile homes were damaged, 30 destroyed. fire officials say as many as 200 people are displaced tonight, but somehow no serious injuries. up next, what we know about the hostage taker in that synagogue in texas. as you saw the news break here last night, how the congregation is praising their heroic rabbi. a dramatic departure for
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an update to not on the terrifying hostage ordeal at beth israel synagogue in colleyville, texas. all four hostages, including the congregation's rabbi, were all four released and not physically harmed. the suspect shot dead as police moved in. the fbi has identified the suspect as a 44-year-old british citizen. while investigators try to determine exactly why he targeted this congregation, we're learning just how terrifying it was inside. our natasha chen is live tonight in colleyville. natasha, thank you very much for being with us, and you have more details, especially on the facebook audio livestream.
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so many people heard this happening in realtime. >> reporter: yeah, poppy, the services inside the synagogue were being livestreamed in the building at the time behind us. you can see there are still police vehicles there, and there is a truck there where our colleagues have seen officers loading that pretty much all day, perhaps still processing evidence. and you're talking about that livestream. it gives us a glimpse into the chaotic, terrifying 11 hours that those hostages were inside. now, there is just audio, no video here, so what you're about to hear, we don't know exactly who the suspect is speaking to, but you get the sense from this clip we're about to show you that he did not want to leave the building alive. >> i've got these four guys with
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me, yeah? so i don't want to hurt them, yeah? okay, are you listening? i don't want you to cry. listen. i'm going to release these four guys. but then i'm going to go in the yard and they're going to take me, all right? are you listening? i am going to die! okay? so don't cry over me. >> reporter: really, that was so terrifying for the folks at home watching the livestream, perhaps, but also of course for the people inside, including the rabbi who released a statement. i want to read part of that to you where he talks about how the congregation had security and active shooter training in the past, how critical that training was. he says, in the last hour of our hostage crisis, the gunman became increasing the belligerent and threatening. without the instruction we received, we would not have been prepared to act and flee when
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the situation presented itself. there is no question that this was a traumatic experience. and he goes on to thank everyone for their prayers and support. we're also learning from law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation, the sources told our colleague josh campbell that the suspect arrived in the u.s. at jfk about five weeks ago and that he wasn't vetted when he came into the country, that he was on a watch list. we're trying to find out exactly what happened with that, poppy. >> thank you very much for your reporting tonight, and there has been much praise for rabbi cytron-walker who not only leads this congregation but was one of the heroes. i talked to a member of the congregation who has nothing but praise for him.
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>> this is the best guy anyone could meet. he went and sat with my dad. he is not jewish, but the rabbi still took the time out of his day -- we live 45 minutes from the synagogue and he drove down to see my dad in the hospital. >> rabbi charlie is loved and respected in this community and has spent his over 10 years, 13 years in this synagogue. we have a small community in this area. we're in between dallas and ft. worth, but there is a very, very large muslim community, and rabbi charlie has reached out. we have ramadon with the jewish community, we have strong ties with our christian and muslim neighbors. >> let me bring in rabbi
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prof, a rabbi at the college. you describe the rabbi as someone who is particularly interested in wanting to help the problems in society, which i think is so fitting to discuss tonight. how so? >> well, you know, charlie really, what we're hearing about rabbi cytron-walker this evening is just exactly what one would have anticipated, all of us who had the privilege of teaching him here in cincinnati. he just exuded the kind of goodness, bridge-building qualities, a decency that we have come to believe is what really is -- these are the qualities that the best kinds of
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rabbis have. charlie believes in the idealogy, and i'm sure he continues to believe in it, that our formal jewish religion says we must teach the principles of our heritage not only to our own issues but also to help make the world a better place. charlie was interested in the environment, he was interested in social justice issues. these were all evident when he was a student here in the time that he studied at the hebrew union college. >> seeing those characteristics in him as a young student and then that he no doubt carried on as a rabbi of this congregation, i wonder how you believe he may have led during those ten-plus hours of being held hostage? i'm sure trying to comfort and assure his fellow congregants. >> i would assume so. rabbi cytron-walker has an eke -- equanimity about him that
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he's a very good listener. he has a warm smile, and he seems to be able to take possession of the time that he has with people to make them feel comfortable. so i suspect you're right about that. he and i developed a friendship because we're both graduates of the university of michigan, i remember that, and we have a lot of colorful students in our rabbinical school. each one has their own approach to life and strong feelings about things. charlie was one of those people in class who seemed to be able to connect with and make friends with everybody. >> i wonder what, finally, rabbi, your thoughts were when you were watching this unfold, yet again another violent, horrific, tragic attack on
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jewish people in this country, in a jewish place of worship. what are your thoughts as you reflect on what has happened in the last 24 hours? >> yeah, well, it's very tragic. my field is american jewish history. that's what i teach. that's what i taught rabbi cytron-walker. and this event, as some of us have already heard, is just another sad mile marker, because it is the first time that i know that juice have been held hostage in their own house of worship. we've seen these tragic developments, the uptick in anti-semitism and the attacks on jews in the united states, and that's very tragic. i think what i would end with is a hopeful note considering the fact that tomorrow is mlk day.
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i'm thinking right now in terms of your question, poppy, about rabbi quinn who talked before the pope visited the united states. he was a refugee, left in 1997, came to america and became very involved in the civil right movement. at that occasion, which we think about tomorrow on mlk day, rabbi prince famously said, i was the rabbi of the jewish community in berlin under the hitler regime, and he said, i learned many things. the most important thing, he said, that i learned under those tragic circumstances that was it was not bigotry, not hatred. these were not the most urgent
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problems. the most urgent, the most disgraceful and the most shameful problem rabbi prince said is silence. he called upon america not to be silent onlookers. so here we are. we're faced with this. i think tomorrow we should all rededicate ourselves. let's all come forward and do our best, each in our own communities, to see to it that this nation lives up to the lot ofy ideals enshrined in our noble founding documents. >> rabbi gary zola, thank you for that pointed message tonight. >> thank you very much. severe weather is threatening more than 80 million of you right now. we'll have the details of the storm moving west here in our
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. right now more than 80 million people hit hard on the east coast. some areas have a foot of snow, and the added danger of ice underneath are making for pretty perilous situations on the roads. let's get to meteorologist tom seder who joins us. what is next here, tom? >> we've got some good news. when you look at the warnings and advisories, something has changed on this map since we last spoke, and that is the ice warning has been lifted in south carolina. in some cases the forecast is underachieving meaning it's not giving us the ice we expected, which is good news, but in some ways it's overachieving. the snow is coming to an end in tennessee, but it's still snowing in alabama and georgia. even though it's patchy, a lot of dry spots moving in, it's still accumulating. th north carolina 1tom, thank you . we'll get back to you very soon. ahead, one of the top democrats in the house thinks they are on life support ahead of a critical vote this week.
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you get advice like: just stop. go for a run. go for 10 runs! run a marathon. instead, start small. with nicorette. which can lead to something big. start stopping with nicorette. well, on tuesday the senate will take up voting rights legislation that many fear is dead on arrival. passing the bills will be a monumental challenge with democratic senators joe manchin and kyrsten sinema standing strong with changing the filibuster rules, which seem to be the only way to get this legislation through. still, jim clyburn says he's not giving up in making his party work. >> if we do not protect the vote with everything we've got, we will not have a country to protect going forward.
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i don't know where we got the notion from that this democracy is here to stay no matter how we conduct ourselves. we took an oath of office to protect this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic. there are some domestic enemies that showed up on january 6, and it didn't stop there. it's still going on. and you hear it when the president tweets out, or whatever he said, about getting rid of people's convenient voting places, saying paraplegics, we can't make it convenient for you to vote, saying you got to stand in line four or five hours to vote, and if anybody gives you a glass of water, they will be put in jail. t
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that's third world stuff. >> let's talk about this. april ryan is with me and glenda brooks. april, let me just begin with you on your reporting about what happens after tuesday. i'm assuming this does not make it through, right? mountains would literally have to move. so then what? >> well, the mountain, it looks like, is not going to move. it's going to stay in place. but here's what's going to happen. black america, who overwhelmingly put the biden/harris ticket into the oval office, is trying to figure out what is going on, especially as this president said the reason why he came into office, or ran for the oval office, is because of issues of race, equity and equality, particularly stemming from charlottesville. now voting rights is gone. we are now voting without the full protections of the 1965 voting rights act, build back
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better to help those front line workers, to help people, the underserved specifically, to have money and jobs, to have child care to doo other things that are pocketbook issues. and the policing act did not move because of tim scott and mitch mcconnell. black people are looking for answers from this white house that gave promises during the campaign that they were going to move mountains for them on these critical issues. >> to your point, cornell, to april's point which i think is an important one, you said, quote, african-americans didn't elect him to be quiet, talking about biden. we heard his forceful voting rights speech this past week, but as you know, fellow democrats have criticized it and some have said too late, so what more do many american people who got him into office want to hear
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and see? >> people all across this country, particularly african-americans, are expecting the president to expand political capital on the moral capital of his precedents, which is to say the right to vote. the point of being here is that we literally had people going to jail, in '21 and '22, children and faith leaders, which i won on hunger strikes for the right to vote. we have invoked again and again martin luther king's name, his memory, for the right to vote. so for us to be on the eve of martin luther king federal holiday with the right to vote hanging in the balance, this presidency has a political or electoral question mark before it, which is to say, having started out in this administration on a high plane of hope, descending into righteous outrage, and we
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descend further into the democracy rights. >> we heard james clyburn there talking about the critical importance of passing this legislation and warning of, quote, domestic enemies trying to make it harder for people to vote. i do want to play -- i think this is an important exchange that jake tapper had this morning, april, with republican senator bill cassidy. listen to this. >> they're not criminalizing giving people water. they're saying you can't just walk up to them right before they go in, give them water and tell them who to vote for. the people working at the poll can distribute it. there are several things that are misleading, and so did president biden. if you are trying to call the united states of america to unity, trying to get us to come to where there is common ground,
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you don't start spreading things that are untrue or, frankly, lies. that's why people think we need the filibuster, otherwise you're totally ruled by others willing to sacrifice truth to pursue their agenda. >> senator bill cassidy was talking about how you can give water to people in line, and some precincts, as you know, with very large white populations had to wait hours to vote in hot weather. april, what's your response to what senator cassidy said there? >> this is the new way in 2022 to look like 1963, 1964, 1965. think about this. we are now witnessing the electorate saying, i have a voice, going to the polls, standing in long lines and people cut down the number of polling places. but they're saying i want to
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cast my vote, and we think there are long lines. you have some of those people who are grandmothers, grandfathers, cousins, et cetera who have been in those long lines and may need something to help if they have some kind of insulin issue, some kind of health issue at all. if you go and grandma calls you and said, look, i want to give you some help, grandma and grandpa, you can't do it, you're going to jail. what does that look like and sound like? that looks like the new age of voter suppression from the '50s and '60s. black people have seen this before. this is not new. this is a way to suppress the vote. the problem is it's not just suppressing the black vote, it's suppressing everyone's vote. the handy capable. it's the white vote, the asian vote, the hispanic vote, the black vote. this is the new way to suppress the black vote and all other votes for the republican party to get their way.
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>> cornell, a few days ago, i'm sure you read it, charles belew wrote that article, and he said when biden fully entered the battle, the other warriors were already bloodied, bruised and exhausted. he said the question is whether the other end of the battle will prove to be too little too late. what if things don't dramatically change? then what? is there another bite at this apple for this administration or not? >> well, there will have to be another bite. this is not a matter of moral -- i should say matter of political calculation, nor a matter of moral calculation. if john lewis and amelia boynton were beat to the pavement and secured the voting rights act of 1965, we cannot give up in 2022.
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the point being here is the biden administration has to be clear. they must fight tooth and nail, day in and day out, for the right to vote. let's be clear here. when black at llantans spend fi times the amount in line as white atlantans, this is not merely a matter of voter inconvenience, but rather, voter injustice. so we need to be very clear, poppy, very, very clear. the biden administration, despite what happens on tuesday, has to make voting rights the number one party of this administration, because let me put it this way. if you have campaigns with campaign donations without votes, you don't have a demo democracy. campaigns and elections depend on votes, fairly cast,
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accurately and fairly counted. that is a central truth of this democracy. >> thank you both. cornell, very good to have you. april, thank you. >> thank you, poppy. after more than a week of legal battles, tennis's number one in the world, novak djokovic, leaves australia just before the world tennis match of the year begins. we'll be back in just a second. . ♪ at northwestern mutual, our version of financial planning helps you live your dreams today. find a northwestern mutual advisor at what can i du with less asthma? with dupixent i can du more...
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indeed you do. indeed instant match instantly delivers quality candidates matching your job description. visit for people living with h-i-v, keep being you. and ask your doctor about biktarvy. biktarvy is a complete, one-pill, once-a-day treatment used for h-i-v in certain adults. it's not a cure, but with one small pill, biktarvy fights h-i-v to help you get to and stay undetectable. that's when the amount of virus is so low it cannot be measured by a lab test. research shows people who take h-i-v treatment every day and get to and stay undetectable can no longer transmit h-i-v through sex. serious side effects can occur, including kidney problems and kidney failure. rare, life-threatening side effects include a buildup of lactic acid and liver problems. do not take biktarvy if you take dofetilide or rifampin. tell your doctor about all the medicines and supplements you take, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney or liver problems, including hepatitis. if you have hepatitis b, do not stop taking biktarvy without talking to your doctor.
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common side effects were diarrhea, nausea, and headache. if you're living with hiv, keep loving who you are. and ask your doctor if biktarvy is right for you. liz, you nerd, cough if you're in here! shh! i took mucinex dm for my phlegmy cough. what about rob's dry cough? works on that too, and lasts 12 hours. 12 hours?! who studies that long? mucinex dm relieves wet and dry coughs.
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australia open is about to begin without the worldest number one, serbia's novak
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djokovic, plane took off without him this morning, not long after holding up the cancellation and had him deported. court said it failed to show why he was medically exempted to get vaccinated from covid-19, calling him the pride of serbia, prime minister called the australia's court decision scandalous and president of serbia says the court humiliated themselves. >> they think they have bithis mistreatment of 10 days humiliated djokovic, but they humiliated themselves, djokovic can return to his country with his head held eye. >> howard, it's good to have you, what do you think, beyond today and the past last 10 days, what's the lasting impact of what we saw happen? >> well, i think the lasting impact of what we've seen really
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lies somewhat less with djokovic and more with tennis itself and all sport, in terms of trying to navigate this both ways and not have vaccine mandates and you run into a massive embarrassment, what is the sport going to do now when the french open while this was taken place? the french open is welcoming djokovic with open arm and see then we're not quite sure when wimbleton or u.s. open is going to do and you have tennis australia really put novak djokovic in a difficult position, more than the position he put himself in because they were trying to kind of pull a fast one on the country and i think novak has paid a heavy price being deported but tennis australia has a lot to answer for themselves. >> so he won the last three australia opens, set to compete for a record 21st grand slam win. what is next for him? when do you expect to see him compete again, you just
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mentioned france and then wimbleton and u.s. open. >> he's such a great champion, such a great player, he can play whenever he wants, the next tournament, the next big ones that come up for a player his stature, usually dubai, and then come to the united states and i think he will run into some similar issues with the indian wells tournament in california, also miami if he chooses to play, then of course into the clay court season, and once again, this is a very difficult thing for sports to navigate because nobody is really willing to give the sort of uniform policy that you need so everybody understands it. i don't think novak djokovic was really skcurting the rules but tried to find loopholes. >> you make an interesting point because even when the court did this week, many companies are choosing to mandate and make it a blanket policy, get
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vaccinated. and no major sport have we seen do that. >> well that's right, and you look at even the brooklyn mets with kyrie irving in new york, you can't go into a restaurant in new york unless you show vaccination and the nets said they wouldn't let kyrie irving play and mets pretty much said we can't let you play at all without that uniformity, then when they started losing games and players said you can come back in so it is really all about about win and see moneys when the covenant was you're supposed to be part of the solution which is why we thrurusted sports to resume and the rules to be different. >> howard, thank you for coming back. thank you again. >> thank you. >> storms threatening millions of americans, tracking the path of this storm next.
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top of the hour, good evening everyone, so glad you're with me, i'm poppy harlow in for hannah brown, watching as millions of americans are hunkerring down as this winter storm make


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