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tv   Today  NBC  December 23, 2020 7:00am-9:00am PST

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a part of your morning. that's all for us on this wednesday. a live look at sfo. if you can stay home, stay home. if you are traveling, be safe. wash your hands and make it back safely. have a great morning. the "today" show is next. good morning. no deal. president trump throwing a wrench into the plans for the stimulus bill at the 11th hour. >> i am asking congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple. >> and in a rare move, house speaker nancy pelosi quickly agrees. but after months of negotiations will republicans on capitol hill follow suit, as the fate of those checks for millions of desperate americans hangs in the balance. we're live at the white house. travel warning. with covid cases rising and christmas right around the
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corner, new concern as millions hit the road and take to the skies. hospitals already at a breaking point and health officials saying they may not be able to handle a surge, especially with more mask-less events like th e these. as dr. fauci gets his covid vaccine and urges americans to stay strong. >> i want to encourage everyone who has the opportunity to get vaccinated so that we can have a veil of protection over this country. messy holiday. a wet and in some places white christmas. a big storm set to wallop much of the country. dylan has the details on how the weather could impact your plans and delay your packages. christmas behind bars. a judge in the cayman islands rules that an american college student jailed for violating covid protocols isn't going anywhere, despite her family's pleas for leniency. >> she's scared. she doesn't know what to do. she thinks people over here are going to hate her. those stories, plus --
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singing santa. ♪ who'd have believed you had come along ♪ >> neil diamond enlists help from the man himself along with thousands of fans for a global virtual sing-along filled with good cheer. ♪ sweet caroline today, wednesday, december 23rd, 2020. >> announcer: from nbc news, this is "today" with savannah guthrie and hoda kotb, live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. and welcome to "today." thank you for joining us. savannah and hoda are joining some time off for the holidays so look who we brought up? kristen welker who always brings some holiday chair. >> it's always nice to be here. presents are wrapped and under the tree so i'm ready to get to work. >> there is a whole heck of a lot happening today. airports are as busy as they have been since this pandemic
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started. in fact here's a look at hartsfield jackson down there in atlanta, packed in atlanta. here's a look at charlotte douglas there. charlotte, north carolina, packed just as well as americans areaeading home for the holidays despite the warnings from public health officials. >> just remarkable scenes there. in many cases it won't be easy, thanks to that big christmas storm causing quite a mess from the midwest all the way to the northeast. dylan has the latest on how bad it's going to get. >> we'll get to that in just a moment. but let's start with our top story this wednesday morning. president trump's last-minute message blasting the covid relief bill that congress scrambled to push through before christmas, while also starting a pre-holiday pardoning spree of some controversial figures. kelly o'donnell is at the white house with more on all of it. kelly, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, craig. with this surprise threat the president puts desperately needed financial relief in jeopardy with the first of that aid expected to reach americans in just days, now in doubt,
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after a trump-size move undermines his own staff, fellow republicans, and months of tense negotiations to bring about a covid relief package. >> reporter: christmas week chaos. >> well, it is not enough. >> reporter: this unexpected veto threat could derail needed covid relief. >> the bill they are now planning to send back to my desk is much different than anticipated. it really is a disgrace. >> reporter: in a white house-made video, the president who did not engage in negotiations himself and has not been seen publicly in ten days suddenly demands congress sweeten the $900 billion covid package or else. >> send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a covid relief package, and maybe that administration will be me. and we will get it done. >> reporter: the $900 billion
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relief bill passed by congress includes more money for unemployment benefits, small businesses and direct checks to many americans. $600 for people making less than $75,000 a year, plus another $600 for every child. but the president now says that's not enough. >> i am asking congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple. >> reporter: the video coming just after his own white house staff was praising the plan. >> the president has indicated his intent to sign the bill for a few reasons, because this is going to take care of american families with stimulus checks and it's going to take care of american small businesses. >> reporter: top democrats say they support bigger checks. house speaker nancy pelosi tweeting in response, democrats are ready to bring this to the floor this week by unanimous consent. let's do it! in another major development, the president delivered gifts to
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friends and associates with his pardon power, including two convicted in the mueller russia investigation. former campaign aide george papadopoulos and lawyer alex van der zwaan who both pleaded guilty to lying. plus get out of prison passes for disgraced former republican house members, first to endorse candidate trump. and in an incident that sparked international outrage in 2007, four former blackwater contractors serving long sentences for the killing of 17 civilians in baghdad also pardoned. the president's pardon power allows him to act completely on his own. but when it comes to the legislation, he must sign it or nothing happens. and so the big question this morning is will he cave on this new threat, or will congress come back to work and try to change this to meet the president's demands. craig?
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>> kelly, more on the unexpected veto threat. we just saw the deputy communications spokesperson there on tv. how much of a surprise was this even within the white house? >> reporter: well, there were certainly top aides who are not in town and not a part of this. remember, the president delivered a speech that was 14 minutes. it was written by staff, the cameras were operated by staff, a teleprompter was there operated by staff and this was done hours before it was posted online. there's been a lot of tension over how much the president would weigh in and he's undercutting his own treasury secretary, who's been negotiating this covid package in detail and briefing the president over these many months. craig. >> kelly o'donnell for us from the white house. kelly o., thank you. also this morning, the pandemic, the holiday season and a major winter storm on a dangerous collision path. travel hitting a holiday season high and hospitals already filled to the brim causing major concern for health officials both at home and abroad. for many, that desire to be home with family is just too strong, and now a huge winter storm is
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sweeping in to complicate travel plans. our team has everything you need to know, beginning with nbc's blayne alexander following the busy holiday travel scene. blayne, good morning to you. >> reporter: well, kristen, good morning to you. we are now officially in the final stretch, the final hours before christmas. now, consider this, between today and just after new year's day, some 85 million people will travel across the country. now, that number is down about 30% from last year, but still given the rise in covid cases and the repeated warning from health officials, it's still far more travelers than health officials would like. the warnings are direct and dire. >> if you have travel plans right now, cancel those travel plans. >> we strongly encourage all boston residents not to travel. >> reporter: yet scenes like these are troubling proof that many americans are traveling anyway, even as new covid cases surge across the country. >> it was a tough decision. for me, i haven't seen my family since last year.
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>> reporter: aaa predicts nearly 85 million americans will travel between december 23rd and january 3rd. this week president-elect joe biden issued a renewed plea to stay at home. >> like we did over thanksgiving, we all have to care enough for each other that we have to stay apart just a little bit longer. >> reporter: already the tsa has processed more than a million daily passengers for three straight days leading into the week. the highest three-day total since the start of the pandemic. >> everybody is wearing their mask, everybody is complying. so it makes you feel a little bit comfortable. >> reporter: overseas, new fears about international travel with dozens of countries banning travel from the uk over concerns of a mutated form of the coronavirus, which many experts fear is even more contagious and spreading rapidly. >> there is a chance that the variant is already here. >> reporter: while back at home, some local leaders are cracking down. in san francisco where remaining icu capacity is dangerously low, officials have instituted a mandatory 10-day quarantine for anybody traveling outside of the area.
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>> if we had case increases like we saw after thanksgiving, this would be truly catastrophic. >> reporter: this as dr. deborah birx, the white house coronavirus response coordinator, announces her plans to step down after helping the biden transition team. the decision follows a wave of criticism after birx traveled to be with her family at a vacation home, an apparent contradiction to her own advice. >> this experience has been a bit overwhelming. it's been very difficult on my family. >> reporter: so, blayne, as you mentioned, millions are still traveling despite warnings from health officials for those doing what safety precautions or officials are recommending.ngngg so so what specifically can what,n travelers do to try to keep travelers do to try to keep themselves safe? themselves safe? >> reporter: well, >> reporter: well, kristen, kr testing is a big one health officials s testing is a big one. you shoul test before you leav health officials say that you ee you should test before you leave an. once you once you get to your get there
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recommend waiting destination.three da now, once you get there, they e recommend waiting three days or so before you test again.if youe in that time if you're going to be around extended family ed fae members, they say that you you should certa should certainly wear a mask, ak especially if you're around especi family members at higher risk. family members w know the quarantine rules wherek know t you're going and if you have to quarantine once you return back know the rules home and again, get tested once going and if you'll have to quaran you get back. tine before you ge and ge >> and stay home if you can.t t back kristen? >> stay home if yo blayne alexander, thank you. u . >> with an alarming number of >> with an alarming amount o hospitals in this country f hospitals nearin nearing capacity, the nation's nation's top infectious disease expert i top infectious disease expert ie wh encouraging everyone who can tot get vaccinated, after doing so doing so himself o himself on live tv in hopes of n proving to the skeptics that the vaccinations are in fact safe. nbc's erin mclaughlin is in hard-hit los angeles with more on that. erin, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, aig. a new poll finds nearly half of americans will take the vaccine as soon as they can. nearly double the number from october. and officials say there will be enough vaccine to give to every american who wants it by the second quarter of next year. doctors say with infections
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simply out of control, help can't come soon enough. two days before his 80th birthday, dr. fauci flexes with the holiday message of hope. >> i want to encourage everyone who has the opportunity to get vaccinated so that we can have a veil of protection over this country. >> reporter: this as nearly a fifth of u.s. hospitals reported last week that at least 95% of their icus were at capacity. >> our darkest days in the battle against covid are ahead of us, not behind us. >> reporter: a dangerous situation, only getting worse as americans gather for christmas. >> your choices will save lives or they will lead to more death. >> reporter: and overnight outrage after an estimated 100 people gathered to sing christmas carols. california joining colorado and arizona with 100% plus spike in
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new deaths. frontline workers and twins michelle and cindy were both infected with the virus. michelle never recovered. her family is left devastated. >> she always tried her best to make every single person she ever met happy. >> reporter: l.a. area hospitals say by christmas they may have to move to a crisis standard of care. resources are diverted to patients most likely to survive. >> as we head into the holidays, our resources will simply be outstripped by the incredible demand. >> reporter: now new concerns about large holiday religious services. with the supreme court overturning the ban on indoor church gatherings in new york, local courts have followed suit. here in the l.a. area, many churches are holding large indoor holiday celebrations, including this one at harvest rock church. hundreds of congregants, masks and social distancing
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encouraged. >> the bible encourages us to worship together. >> public health officials have said that no gathering is a good idea. >> first amendment, freedom of religion. we have made a choice to give that freedom to our people. >> reporter: that freedom, health officials say, could come at a price as they fear california is careening toward catastrophe. california is on the cusp of a grim milestone, 2 million cases. consider this, it took almost ten months to reach a million cases and six weeks to reach the other million. it's that exponential rise that has officials so concerned,
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craig. >> erin, meanwhile on the vaccine front just moments ago a apparently, the white house d iy announcing a deal to secure erin m millions more doses of that pfizer vaccine.claughlin in losg what more can you tell us about >> significant that? headline there. >> reporter: yeah, that's righth craig. hhs just announcing a deal to weather. a purchase an additional 100 million vaccine doses from g across pfizer to be provided to the public by the end of july. that would be on top of the already 100 million doses the company has agreed to provide by the end of march.e and that this would be a major step towards ouough americans to reach herd immunity. craig. >> some good news. erin mclaughlin there in los angeles. >> a significant headline there. we do want to turn to the weather. a severe winter storm is moving across the country with the possibility of heavy snow, wind or rain, depending on where you live, and that could cause havoc for holiday travelers. dylan is in for al this morning. dylan, some folks will see a white christmas. >> some are but this is going to be a mess of a storm. we have blizzard watches in effect in purple there. we also have winter storm warnings in effect as well. now, we also in addition to that have to deal with the flash flooding potential up and down the east coast and also a high wind watch for winds gusting up to about 60 miles per hour on the east coast. so here's the storm system. today it's mostly snow across the upper midwest, including minnesota and iowa. here you see the rain starting to develop back through the midwest as we go into tonight and tomorrow so it's mostly rain on christmas eve. we are looking for snow to wrap
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around on the back side of this, especially on the great lakes. and up and down the east coast up into new england with snow, especially lake-effect snow on the back side. we could see 1 to 3 inches of rain on top of the snow that is still melting across the northeast. this means rivers will rise rapidly. we could also see some flooding along some of the streets that aren't draining as well, so that's why we do have that flood potential. as for that white christmas, i think areas especially back through minnesota and into wisconsin, northwestern iowa is where we could see several inches of snow, but also along the great lakes we could see 9 to 12 inches of snow with that lake-effect snow. these would be your areas where you have the best chance of a white christmas. that's a look at the weather across the country. we'll get to your local forecast in the next 30 seconds.
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no matter how yo celebrate this year, make this holiday extra special with a gift from pandora jewelry. good wednesday morning. i'm meteorologist kari hall. taking a live look outside in san francisco it's all clear today, and also for tomorrow. but we are getting ready for some rain set to move in as we head to christmas day with some heavy downpours possible at times especially for the north bay. there will be two storm systems coming in as we go into the next week. some decent rainfall totals in the forecast starting for the weekend. as we go through the forecast we are going to see temperatures in the 50s. >> and that's >> and that's your latest forecast, guys. >> dylan dreyer, thank you so much. coming up here on a wednesday morning, the new symptoms for that american college student jailed in the caribbean.
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her family's response as they plea for her release. plus is there anything that we can do to stop our favorite restaurants from going out of business we'll take an inside look from one of the nation's most famous chefs at how some are managing to stay afloat despite the odds. but first, this is "today" on to all the businesses that helped us make it through 2020... thank you for going the extra mile... and for the extra pump of caramel. thank you for the good food... and the good karma. thank you for all the deliveries...
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especially this one. you've reminded us that no matter what, we can always find a way to bounce forward. so thank you, to our customers and to businesses everywhere, from all of us at comcast business.
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still ahead, good news for the basketball star who had his team and family very worried about collapsing on court. >> more on his recovery after your local news. at least geico makes it easy to bundle our renters and car insurance. yeah, helping us save us even more... for bundling made easy, go to
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donated over two hundred million dollars to national and hometown charities through the subaru share the love event. (vo) get 0% for 63 months and subaru will donate 250 dollars to charity. good morning. it is 7:26. i'm kira klapper. here are today's top stories including warnings for last-minute holiday shoppers and travelers. >> reporter: good morning, i'm thom jensen in walnut creek this morning. as the sun comes up, as people start to go out, medical experts are warning as you get in the last-minute christmas shopping, warns people to wear your mask, social distance not only in the stores but outside as more and more people will be on the sidewalks walking shoulder to shoulder trying to avoid that, stay apart and stay safe and ring in the holiday. >> reporter: i'm cierra johnson at sfo.
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aaa saying millions of americans are planning to stay home. 34 million americans. several million are actually planning to hit the roads and the skies. 85 million people are planning to travel this holiday season. so it is important to note if you are traveling or leaving from san francisco that ten-day quarantine is in place for folks that work and live in the city. that does not include essential workers. they are exempt from the rule. meteorologist kari hall has your microclimate forecast. and we're starting out with a live look outside in san jose. it's a cold morning, and we're going to have another one of those days that starts out chilly but turns out not so bad for the afternoon as we reach into the upper 50s to near 60 degrees. we'll see more of the same tomorrow, but then on christmas day we'll see some rain approaching the bay area moving in during the afternoon into the evening hours and off and on showers throughout the weekend into early next week. we are getting ready for the wet weather after a long stretch of some dry days.
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kira? >> we need it indeed, kari. thanks. and i'll be back in about 30 minutes with another local news update for you. back to "today."
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♪ sweet caroline ♪ good times never seemed so good ♪ >> so good, so good, so good. >> so good back now 7:30 on a wednesday morning, december 23rd, 2020, with an early christmas gift from the legendary neil diamond getting thousands of fans involved in a virtual sing-along of what else, "sweet caroline. i love all of the smiles >> yes, the virtual sing-a-long has become one of the highlights of the pandemic, i think.
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>> it really has and now that song is going to be in all our heads. >> stuck in your head for days let's get to your 7:30 headlines on this wednesday morning. the justice department is suing walmart, accusing the retail giant of fueling the country's opioid crisis. the suit claims that walmart did not properly screen questionable prescriptions and knowingly violated its own safeguards. it also contends that walmart pharmacists were under pressure to fill a high volume of prescriptions as quickly as possible walmart responded that the suit is full of factual inaccuracies. the government is seeking penalties that could run into the billions of dollars. the eruption of hawaii's kilauea volcano has created an awesome spectacle. lava pouring from the crater has formed a growing lake nearly 500 feet deep. this video was recorded by the u.s. geological survey which is keeping around-the-clock watch on the volcano since the eruption has stabilized, the site is no longer off limits for tourists that's been good for local business but the crowds are raising new concerns about
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social distancing. we've all seen coaches get doused with a giant bucket of gatorade to celebrate a big victory, but what if you're about to win college football's idaho potato bowl game that's right, the idaho potato bowl game. nevada coach jay norvell found out with a victory his team decided to treat him to a side order of french fries. then they washed it down with gatorade french fries first, then the gatorade since there were a few seconds left on the clock, nevada was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for making that greasy mess on the field >> we'll forgive them. i'll take fries over gatorade, i think. >> yes, same here. all right. well, we turn to new developments in the case of skyler mack. the georgia college student behind bars in the cayman islands after breaking covid-19 protocol there, a punishment her family says is too harsh
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stephanie gosk has the latest. steph, good morning to you. what is the latest there >> good morning, kristen. >> reporter: skyler mack appeared before a panel of judges in the cayman islands asking to be released, but this morning she's still in jail. her sentence reduced from four months to two months the 18-year-old college student and her family are devastated. 18-year-old skyler mack will be spending christmas in a cayman islands jail cell. what began as a caribbean getaway to visit her boyfriend turning into a nightmare. >> she's scared, she doesn't know what to do. she's talking about dropping out of college just she thinks people over here are going to hate her. >> reporter: the premed college student from georgia broke the cayman island's covid laws violating a two-week quarantine when she removed a tracking bracelet and went to her boyfriend's jet ski competition. even though mack tested negative for the virus when she arrived there from the u.s., both she
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and her boyfriend were sentenced to four months in prison after appealing for a lighter sentence on tuesday, the court cut the jail time in half, to two months >> we were all crying and hurt. >> reporter: mack's attorney arguing that both mack and her boyfriend be released. >> for ms. mack in particular, difficult for her because she's going back to fairbanks prison. >> reporter: mack's family was hoping she would be home for college when it starts again in january, but now that looks unlikely. >> i don't sleep at night. all i can think of is her laying in that bed crying because i know that's what she's doing. >> reporter: after breaking quarantine rules in the british-controlled island, mack and her boyfriend pleaded guilty and were initially ordered to pay a fine and do community service. but when the island's prosecutor appealed, the court changed it to a jail sentence instead, a much harsher penalty mack's family tells nbc news they asked president trump for help and says they are now
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dealing with the u.s. state department >> my daughter is not a bad person she made a mistake she made a poor judgment decision and she knows that. she's terrified. >> so, steph, a lot of people are wondering is there any chance they can get out any earlier? >> reporter: kristen, it's a possibility. by cayman islands law, they'll have to serve at least 60% of their sentence that would mean mack could be released from prison by january 20th but that still won't be early enough to make it home in time for the start of her semester kristen. >> thank you, steph. remarkable to hear from her mom to say that she has remorse about that. >> your heart does go out to the family. >> for sure. that's for sure. coming up next, restaurant owners open up about what it's like to have their life's work hanging in the balance >> it's taken me ten years to build these three restaurants, and it took a matter of a week for it all to be torn down
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only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ and we are back now with in-depth today carson is joining us as we take a closer look at restaurants they are one of the hardest-hit industries in this pandemic, and now a big name is covering that struggle. >> in the new food network
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documentary "restaurant hustle 2020 all on the line," guy fieri teams up with marcus samuelson to show us what the restaurants that we know and love, what they're doing to just get by in these challenging times. nbc's joe fryer talked to both of them. >> it's taken me ten years to build these three restaurants and it took a matter of a week for it all to be torn down. >> reporter: it is a raw, real look at the restaurant industry during unreal times. >> i hope we get out of this stronger i keep convincing myself that we will but it's frightening. >> reporter: "restaurant hustle 2020 all on the line" is a new documentary that follows four chefs and business owners in their own words. >> what if this is the year that changes the next 50 years. >> reporter: their honest
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emotions. >> i can't see my grandkids. >> reporter: as the covid pandemic upends that if industry >> we had to layoff the managers and the rest of the remaining team. >> you're on a sinking ship but asking somebody to take journal notes as to what it felt like when this went down. >> reporter: guy fieri teamed with the food network and enlisted his culinary colleagues like marcus samuelson to document the unprecedented challenges that have caused one in six restaurants to go out of business. >> it was a very trying time to listen to your friends that you love and respect and see them go through this up and down that you couldn't do anything about >> with guy's team, we figured out how to tell a raw, authentic, honest story. this was not four-star chefs coming into the restaurant. >> you probably had enough on your plate as it was this year where did you want to take part
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in this documentary? >> i'm part of a community and we needed to share this. >> we're off to bridgeport hospital, getting tons of pies to some people that can really use a proper morale boost. >> reporter: being part of that community meant supporting frontline workers. >> thank you for everything you guys do. thank you so much, okay? you guys all stay safe. >> reporter: and their neighbors in need. >> we're in this together. >> reporter: and in turn, the everyday person ordering from their favorite locally owned restaurant. >> thank you so much for ordering today. >> of course >> under this mask there is a big smile, i promise you. >> reporter: to keep those beloved places in business. >> those tickets, that pays the utilities for a month. each ticket will pay for a little bit of the water bill, a little bit of the gas bill, a little bit of the electricity bill. >> we all collectively need something this year, is to come together we as chefs together with guy's team can show as a country let's
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come together. it's not about being republican, it's not about being a democrat. stop we're going to get out of this we have to heal and we need each other. >> we have a vaccine now, but for restaurants there is still a very long road ahead, isn't there? >> it's going to be how do we rebuild. and we don't know what a restaurant 2021, '22 is going to look like. many habits of the customers have already changed the model of the restaurant has to also change. >> reporter: guy fieri helped raise $22 million for workers in the industry hoping to help as many as possible until the day their restaurants can reach full capacity again. >> we will beat these situations and prevail through them unified. divided the efficiency goes down not by 50%, it goes down exponentially. unification, supporting one another, tackling issues head on, resolving them, that's what
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we need to be doing. >> reporter: for "today," joe fryer, nbc news. >> really brings this issue into focus. more than 2 million restaurant industry jobs have been lost n some cases these mom-and-pop restaurants just aren't going to come back. >> $130 billion in revenue gone. you know, they make a point. these are spots that we love but you forget sometimes how many livelihoods are tied to these restaurants directly and indirectly so "restaurant hustle 2020 all on the line" premieres this sunday, december 27th, over on the food network for more information on the film and some ways to help, visit >> that help is going to be so essential for so many. we do want to get another check of the forecast. dylan, you're tracking that big storm that's going to impact this holiday week. >> i certainly am and it comes with colder temperatures the coldest christmas for some areas that we've seen in a long time in miami, friday's forecast only 64 degrees it hasn't been in the 60s on christmas since 1999 in charleston, a high of only 43
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degrees. we haven't seen it that chilly since 2004 on christmas day. and then in atlanta too, highs only in the upper 30s. it's all because of this powerful cold front that's moving through the country that is dividing the really cold temperatures from the warmer temperatures today 59 in st. louis, 57 in cincinnati that's almost 20 degrees above average. as this front moves to the east, it replaces warmer areas with cold temperatures. 28 degrees in st. louis on thursday, but 64 in washington, d.c., and then look at friday, temperatures will dramatically drop back down into the 20s for pittsburgh, back through the midwest and al good morning. i'm meteorologist kari hall. expect a lot of sunshine today and warming temperatures. we'll reach into the upper 50s and low 60s for today. and as we go into the next couple of days, dry weather but rain will arrive on christmas day especially during the afternoon into the evening hours and then off and on rain in the forecast for the weekend.
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as our temperatures cool off we'll only see highs in the inland areas in the mid-50s but inland temperatures will remain in the mid-30s. forecast kristen. >> coming up, our vicky nguyen has important tips for keeping your home safe amid all the holiday festivities. >> it is the season to be festive from the candles to the cookies and of course the christmas tree but together all of these things can pose a fire risk i'm vicky nguyen this morning i'm taking you through the hot spots in your home to help you and your family have a safe winter that's next on "today. pampers,
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and my water broke. at only 23 weeks. andrew: we had to stay in the hospital for 10 weeks, 1000s of miles from family. our driver kristin came along in our most desperate hour. suzanne: bringing us home-cooked meals and gifts. andrew: day after day. we wanted to show you something. kristin: oh my god! andrew: kristin is the most uncommonly kind person that we've met. suzanne: thank you so much. ♪ when you're celebrating, keeping your devices safe & sound isn't always easy. add affordable protection to the devices that connect us. walmart protection plans by allstate.
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♪ but i know where i wanna go good morning. it is just about 7:56. i'm kira klapper. here's a look at what's happening now. >> reporter: i'm cierra johnson at sfo. millions of americans are planning to travel this holiday season with christmas just days away. aaa estimates 85 million people will either fly or drive to their destination for vacation or to see family, but keep in mind if you live or work in san francisco that ten-day quarantine is in place and the city's top doctor says this stay-at-home order has actually saved 335 lives. >> reporter: good morning. i'm thom jensen in walnut creek this morning. as the sun comes up and people start to go out medical experts are warning as you get in that last-minute christmas shopping to warn people to wear your mask, social distance not only
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in the stores but outside as more and more will be on the sidewalks walking shoulder to shoulder. try to stay apart and stay safe and ring in the holiday. we're going to check in with meteorologist kari hall now for our forecast on this christmas eve eve. we are waking up to sunshine and it's a cold start. we will have a nice, sunny day. as we go through the forecast we'll have more dry weather for tomorrow but then on christmas day we'll be awaiting rain and will have more updates on that, kira? thanks. marcus washington will have another local news update in half an hour. until then, back to "today."
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>> nancy pelosi firing back by agreeing with the president, tweeting "let's do it!" so what is it it mean for the future of the bill? when can americans expect to see a stimulus check, and how much will it be? we're live with the latest. then, home for the holidays? with christmas right around the corner, the major concerns over
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travel. officials urging everyone to stay home as cases continue to rise from coast to coast. >> if you have travel plans right now, cancel those travel plans. >> and this morning the winter weather on the way that could keep you indoors. dylan is tracking it all. plus, safe for the holidays. from candles -- >> make sure there's nothing flammable within 12 inches or, better yet -- >> to christmas trees. >> the most important steps, water it every day. >> what you need to know about fire safety this time of year. and 'tis the season. the new york city children's choir will treat us to a special virtual performance you don't want to miss, today, wednesday, december 23rd, 2020. ♪ >> today, one of the greatest gifts in our lives. >> happy birthday! >> this day last year we were
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getting married. >> and now celebrating with the "today" show. woo-hoo! >> to my kindergarteners at barnsdale rhodes school, have a great winter break. >> in tracy, california -- >> today is my special day! >> welcome back to "today" on your special day. happy birthday, merry christmas eve eve. we're so glad that you're with us on this wednesday morning and we're so glad that kristen welker is with us on this wednesday morning as well. >> thank you, i'm so glad to be with you. i love all of the dogs and animals getting in on the holiday action. >> savannah and hoda enjoying this well deserved, much deserved time off. by the way, this is the time of year when a lot of folks focus on their faith. tomorrow on "today," jon bon jovi is going to introduce us to someone who's really important to his spirituality. >> we'll talk to the musician and his inspirational and wildly
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popular pastor about healing from this year and keeping the faith, despite the pandemic. really important conversation. >> in the meantime you've been helping us keep the faith with those generous donations to our season of giving food drive. folks, there's still some time to join us if you haven't yet. >> that's right, you can keep giving. the qr code on your screen is for feeding america, an amazing group helping millions struggling to put food on the table. just scan it with your smartphone, click the notification and you can learn how you can help. we've already raised a lot of money but we can rate a whole lot more. >> there's the qr code under my coffee cup. a lot going on. with millions of americans ready to spend their next round of covid stimulus checks, president trump has thrown a last-minute wrench into the deal struck by congress. nbc white house correspondent kelly o'donnell has the very latest on all of the back and forth. kelly o., good morning. >> reporter: good morning, craig. president trump delivering an unwelcome christmas week surprise.
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a threat that could delay or deny millions of americans the covid relief they so desperately need. that means direct payments, extra unemployment benefits, renting and food help, all suddenly up in the air. in a white house-made video, the president who sat out negotiations himself complained that $600 checks are not enough. >> i am asking congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple. >> reporter: he demanded that congress upend their completed bill to increase the checks to $2,000. that's an amount democrats have wanted all along, undermining republicans. so speaker pelosi called his bluff and tweeted "let's do it!" but the next steps are unclear. this all has to be resolved within days or the package expires. and the next congress would have to start over. the president also used his power to grant clemency to 20
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people, including pardons for two figures who admitted lying in the russia investigation, three former republican congressmen convicted of various acts of public corruption, and he pardoned four blackwater contractors serving long prison sentences for the killing of 17 iraqi civilians in a baghdad attack back in 2007, an incident that caused international outrage. craig. >> kelly o'donnell from the white house for us. kelly o., thank you. also this morning a risky holiday getaway with covid cases soaring, hospitals on the brink. a top health expert bowing out and a major winter storm. we have it all covered. let's start with nbc's blayne alexander at the airport in atlanta. blayne, good morning to you. >> reporter: kristen, good morning to you. we are now in the final hours before christmas day and americans are certainly on the move. consider this, before between and january 3rd, nearly 85 million americans will travel across the country. that's certainly not good news for health officials who have spent weeks now urging people to stay at home this holiday
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season, especially after the surge that we saw following thanksgiving and now they're warning of another possible surge after the christmas holiday. now, airports and airlines have upped their cleaning precautions, but still the cdc is urging people to stay at home. they say that's the safest course of action. but for those who do choose to travel, they put out some tips to try and make things a little safer. one, testing. testing is key. get tested before you leave and tested once you get to your destination, but they're recommending wait at least three days and stay masked around those family members that you may be with, especially those at higher risk. the second thing is to know the quarantine rules for the place where you're going and for when you're returning to know whether you have to isolate once you get there. again, they say that the safest course of action is to just stay home this holiday season. kristen. >> all right, thank you. now for the latest on the covid crisis. nbc's erin mclaughlin is in hard-hit los angeles with more on that. erin, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, craig. there is some good news this morning in the fight against
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covid-19. just this morning hhs has announced a deal with pfizer for 100 million doses of the vaccine to be available to the public by the the end of july and this is in addition to the initial agreement to provide 100 million doses by the end of march and really seen as critical steps toward herd immunity and the relief for the workers on the front line simply cannot come soon enough. the situation is dire across the country, but especially here in california when you are considering that the state is on the cusp of reaching 2 million cases of covid-19. and also consider this, the first million that the state reached within 10 months and the next million, it reached in six weeks, and it is that exponential rise that has the authorities here extremely concerned.
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the hospitals are already full. one doctor saying that they're absolutely getting crushed by covid-19 right now and they're dreading what could come out of the holiday season. craig. >> it's really hard to get your head around what's happening there in los angeles. erin mclaughlin for us, erin, thank you. one of the leading figures in the battle against the pandemic says she will be stepping aside. nbc news chief white house correspondent hallie jackson tells us what's behind that and how it could impact the ongoing fight. hallie, good morning to you. >> reporter: hey, kristen, good morning. dr. birx is not giving an exact date for when she might retire, but in a new interview she is getting personal about what her recent turn in the public eye has meant for her family and her future. one of the most familiar faces in the pandemic response eyeing an exit. >> i will be helpful in any role that people think i can be helpful in, and then i will retire. >> reporter: dr. deborah birx sharing she will end her present career after helping the incoming biden team to be successful, as she put it, against the covid crisis. it comes just days after an associated press report that she
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traveled out of state to a delaware beach house with her family over thanksgiving, despite guidelines for americans to limit their own holiday celebrations. >> reporter: we went from an immediate household to immediate household in full isolation, but because of the perception it created, we obviously will not do that through any of the holiday season. >> reporter: birx defending herself and getting personal about what it's been like for her family. >> they didn't choose this for me, to drag my family into this. when it's -- my daughter hasn't left that house in ten months, my parents have been isolated for ten months. they have become deeply depressed. >> reporter: birx spent most of her career focused on the fight against hiv and aids, rising to become a leader in her field and the u.s. global aids coordinator. she joined the coronavirus task force earlier this year, early on, pushing for social distancing. >> we really want people to be
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separated at this time. >> reporter: and mask wearing. but she also took heat for what she didn't say, reluctant to push back even as the president downplayed the virus and, for example, inaccurately suggested killing covid by ingesting disinfectant. is there a way we can do that by injection inside. >> reporter: it's not clear when exactly dr. birx might retire. after three decades of public service and the past year in the public eye. although the president has been critical of dr. birx before, the press secretary now says president trump has great respect for dr. birx and likes her very much, adding we wish her well. craig. >> our chief white house correspondent, hallie jackson, for us there. hallie, thank you. we'll check back in with dylan, another check of this big storm we're tracking this holiday week, impacting so many. >> it certainly is. we talked about the snow through the midwest and the great lakes. we've got the rain for the east coast. now let's focus on the wind. the snow is still gathering back
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through south dakota into nebraska. now, the wind is also going to pick up as well because we've got this area of low pressure, that's the storm, sandwiched between two areas of high pressure so it creates a really tight gradient which means we get a whole lot of wind. winds can gust up to 65 miles an hour in the north plains leading to blizzard conditions because of the reduced visibility. we're also looking for winds to gust up to 40 to nearly 50 miles per hour on thursday and then as we go into friday, those winds will continue to move eastward. in fact by the time we get into thursday night and friday morning, we could see gusts up to 50 to 60 miles per hour. keep in mind those holiday decorations that you have outside in this part of the country could be gone. you might want to consider bringing some of those inside just to limit the damage there. we could also see widespread power outages as well. we also have the chance of severe storms today down through louisiana and the gulf coast where we could see wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour and tornados are possible as well. and then tomorrow we're going to
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see our best chance of severe storms across southeastern virginia, down through the coast of north carolina and northeastern coast good morning. i'm meteorologist kari hall. we have sunshine and a cool start but a mild day in the forecast once again. staying dry tomorrow, but we will have a big storm system coming in for the weekend. in fact, a couple of them. the first one arrives on christmas day into the afternoon. off and on showers throughout the weekend and into early next week with some cool temperatures only reaching into the mid to upper 50s. cold mornings while san francisco also has 50s through the forecast. >> >> and that's your latest forecast >> all right, busy week for you, dylan, thank you. now to some encouraging news from the world of sports this morning. a rapid recovery from critical condition for keyontae johnson the university of florida
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basketball player gave fans quite the scare when he collapsed suddenly on the court mid-game recently. nbc's sam brock has his heartfelt message of thanks. sam, good morning. >> craig, good morning. you know, keyontae's family right now are just looking forward to spending the christmas holiday together less than two weeks ago the junior forward was in critical but stable condition his parents amazed right now at the recovery process, even as johnson's illness remains a mystery. >> i know y'all have been sending y'all prayers out the last few weeks me and my parents are very grateful for the prayers that's been going out. >> reporter: in words that soothed the stunned sports world, university of florida basketball player keyontae johnson first posted this video with a classic gator chomp. >> go gators. >> reporter: and now this morning is out of the hospital, only ten days removed from a frightening collapse. >> we've had a heartbreaking situation here you see this florida team in tears. >> reporter: while it's not clear what caused the 21-year-old to fall face first
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on the court, his parents are now breathing a sigh of relief posting in a statement, today is a great day. keyontae is being released from the hospital, and look forward to spending christmas together as a family. former gator bradley beal of the washington wizards reaching out with gratitude. >> it takes courage, it takes passion and fight, you know. the whole world is behind him. everybody was supporting him. >> reporter: johnson, with his arm still in a sling, wishing his mom a happy birthday on instagram, a moment of unexpected joy as unanswered questions swirl. johnson's parents writing about the illness. as much as everyone involved wants firm answers, the process to draw definitive conclusions continues and we ask for patience as the medical officials continue their work. johnson reportedly contracted covid-19 earlier in the year, along with several of his teammates. although neither the school nor the team has confirmed any connection, if there is one, to the star forward's on-court
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scare. but this morning, it's about appreciation for keyontae and his family, all together for the holiday. >> i just want to say thank you for all the support y'all gave me. >> reporter: and keyontae's parents say they are committed right now to sharing updates on his condition. not just that, but any information they feel might be helpful to other people as well. in the meantime, they are just grateful for the help and the care he has received throughout this entire ordeal crg, baik toou. y >> and we are glad that keyontae seems to be doing much, much better thanks so much for that, sam brock. >> we certainly are. wish him a full recovery soon. that's the news. now carson is back and craig is here time for a little boost? >> no hoda but i'll try to do it that was one boost we've got two more boosts because you can never have too much christmas spirit. a double boost of holiday sights here we go a woman in scotland looks out her window and this is what she saw.
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♪ >> it's hoda >> no, that's a human christmas tree dancing up the street, shaking those ornaments like her own little christmas parade. actually for a good cause, though the tree lady was drumming up support for a fund-raiser at her son's school she logged about 30 miles through the streets of glasgow in one week. >> she's got some moves. >> it looks like ellen similar moves to ellen. >> can we all get one of those for christmas morning? >> i'd take it >> the music has to come with it in order for it to work. >> here's a bonus boost. >> all right. >> when it comes to christmas lights, sometimes you just can't compete with that neighbor who really goes all out. just look at this display. >> wow. >> toy soldiers, candy canes. >> that's a lot. >> thousands of lights guy probably wins the prize on his block every year so what do you do if you're the
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fellow next door what do you do all you need is one little sign, one little sign. here it comes. ditto. that was it. >> it started on the other side. next door to the griswold's. >> there it is that's pretty good i was feeling so good about having my tree up and now i just feel deflated. that's impressive. >> griswolds. >> exactly the griswolds. well, we do want to shift gears now and we turn to today's holiday consumer with a warning about a common thing this -- danger this time of year. >> nbc news investigative and consumers correspondent vicky nguyen shows us what we need to be on the lookout for. hey, vick. >> hey, good morning, everyone yeah, this is such a festive time of year with all the cooking, the candles and of course our christmas tree. but you know what, those things also add up to a higher fire risk so this morning i'm going to take you through some of the hot
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spots in your home as a reminder so that you and your family can celebrate the season safely. celebrating the season with all of our favorite things family, food and lots of light but cozying up by the fire can lead to unexpected tragedy november, december and january are the most common months for house fires. those three months alone make up nearly 30% of fires each year. the kitchen is where most fires begin, so before you set out on any culinary adventures, make sure you have one of these nearby read the instructions and really familiarize yourself with it candlelight is beautiful, but these flickering flames cause roughly 7,600 fires every year, the most on christmas day. if you're going to light a candle, make sure there's nothing flammable within 12 inches or, better yet, go with these. they're flameless, battery operated candles some even come with a remote control. they're safe, they look great and they last a long time.
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and get this, they have cheaper than real candles. and the centerpiece of the holidays for many families, the christmas tree but a dry one could lead to this in seconds while rare, each year there are an average of 160 christmas tree fires. so if your tree is still up, remember -- >> the most important step, water it every day to make it super easy use one of these. it's called a watering elf just stick it right into the tree stand no need to get down on the ground and get dirty with those needles and pour the water right down the spout before you go to bed, unplug your christmas tree lights once your tree starts shedding needles, that's a sign it's dry and could pose a fire hazard fema recommends throwing it out as soon as possible and marking a day on your calendar so you don't forget fireplaces are a place to warm up during the winter months but each year there are fires caused by chimneys and fireplaces so what should you do to safely enjoy this before you light this get your chimney inspected by a certified chimney sweep every year because over time chimneys
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collect creosote which can overheat and catch fire. often that's what causes chimney fires. remove anything that's flammable within four feet and always have a screen to capture any sparks that could fly into your home. tips to keep you warm and safe all winter long. and another tip when it comes to that chimney, when you light the fire, if smoke goes pouring into your home, make sure you've open theedamper to let the smoke out of the chimney if you have and you're still getting a smoky house, put that fire out and call a chimney sweep to get inspected right away craig. >> going back to the christmas tree for a moment, you say that we should remove it early so it doesn't dry out. what's the best way to get rid of it? >> so you want to check right now with your city a lot of them will offer a curbside pickup, they'll take it away, mulch it, compost it, what have you one more tip when it comes to sweeping up all those dry
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needles, you do want to use a broom, don't clog your vacuum because those needles are notorious and that is one hassle we don't need this holiday. >> vicky nguyen, thanks as always. >> needles are like glitter. you find them all year long. >> because of covid i'm sure a lot of people got their trees early this year, to get that festive environment in their homes earlier, so they're extra dry. mine is ridiculous. >> they need a lot of water. i like those electric candles, though. >> it's a good had why, if you have small kids especially it feels like a good time for a little popstart. >> well, good, because it's happening, craig we start with coming to america. we are finally getting a look at the trailer for eddie murphy's highly anticipated sequel. the movie picks up with prince akeem returning to new york on a mission to find a long-lost member of his family take a look. >> no.
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you will be king but the throne is passed to a male heir, akeem it appears you have a son. he must be found. >> prepare the royal jet we are going back to america >> oh, hell no, your majesty. >> come on >> it is so good to see you. >> well, i'll be damned, look who done come up in here >> oh, my gosh. >> i'm here for it. >> that's a good scene. >> i think of you, craig, because of halloween, prince akeem on our plaza that got me excited. finally we have the sequel. >> that's a good premise, too. >> a lot of big stars returning, you saw arsenio hall leslie jones and tracy morgan make a quick appearance in the trailer too. "coming 2 america" is out march
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5th on amazon prime video. next up, 21 pilots just landed themselves in the guinness book of world records for the longest running music video. it turns out the band had been live streaming a user-generated content video for their song on youtube and streamed it for six months the stream ended after running for 4,264 hours, 10 minutes and 25 seconds the song is only three and a half minutes long so it ran around 46,500 times with videos from around 162,000 fan submissions since june so congrats to the boys of 21 pilots for pulling off that. i know it's confusing but that's pretty amazing. >> that's one way to do it. >> every time a song would end, a new cgu video would start back up automatically into perpetuity. >> that's amazing. >> good for them. next up, "kindergarten cop," three years ago arnold schwarzenegger traded in for the classroom classic and now those kindergarteners are grown up and doing what all of us adults are doing in 2020 hanging out over zoom while reminiscing about what it was like to get young
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actors the group got a special surprise. >> i think someone is trying to get in let's see if we can welcome someone in >> no way! >> hello >> what's up >> oh, my god! >> arnold! >> how are you guys doing? >> we are in shock. >> oh, my gosh. >> that is the funniest thing to see all of you guys. i got a phone call like two or three hours ago and they said we are going to have a chat with six of the kids from "kindergarten cop," they said would you want to join in. i said of course i haven't seen you guys -- >> it's been a while. >> i notice when he first popped in the camera is like half a block away my father would have done that hello. arnold stuck around for a while
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to catch up with some of the former students and also revealed that he's going to be doing the voice-over in an animated series based on that movie. that is coming out in the spring. finally, one of our favorite country couples getting all decked out for the holidays but not in the way that you would expect on monday tim mcgraw shared these photos on social media that are really amazing. this is family there in full "game of thrones" gear you see faith in the middle as the ice king surrounded by the three girls. look at how elaborate these are. here's tim looking like the giant. he wrote so we had a "game of thrones" dinner at home with the kiddos merry christmas. last night at the took their costumes to another level with a harry potter look. the gang is all there. harry, ron, hagrid tim and faith in the back as
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malicious malfoy and and the elaborate costume wardrobe available at the house. now the only question is what are you guys doing tonight we will all be watching. >> we know what they have been doing during quarantine now. >> some people are quarantining a lot better than others. >> they brought their "a" game good morning to you. 8:26. i'm marcus washington. oakland leaders hearing brute's details in the recently announced series of budget cuts to close a $61 million deficit. the city administration is proposing $29 million in immediate and temporary cuts to offset pandemic-related losses. public safety taking the biggest hit. oakland fire department losing $5 million. some of that savings comes from reduced overtime. council members meet at 11:00 a.m. a look at the forecast. meteorologist kari hall is tracking that for us.
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>> starting out with some sunshine, but look how cold it is right now. especially in the north bay as well as south county. a lot of spots dipped below freezing and just starting to recover into the upper 30s. as we geget a look at temperatu the next few days, dry today and tomorrow. rain here on christmas into the weekend. we'll see those off and on showers extending into early next week. temperatures come down several more degrees. marcus? >> thanks, kari. another local news update in 30 minutes. see you back here then. in a land not so far away,
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it is it is 8:30 now on a wednesday morning, the 23rd of december, 2020 just two days until the big day, christmas. but it's not too late to get involved in our season of giving food drive. >> yeah. you know, we teamed up with feeding america. there's the qr code that you've come to know and love at the bottom of your screen. all you have to do is take out the phone, scan the qr code to learn how you can help the millions of americans who are struggling to access nutritious food during this holiday season. >> we encourage people to do that. coming up with many families apart for the holidays, our own stephanie ruhle is here on how
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to connect with your family and friends just beyond the basic video chat. looking ahead to 2021, olympic gold medalist katie ledecky joins us live. with the tokyo olympics just seven months away, we will talk to her about training during covid and her upcoming college graduation. >> looking forward to that conversation. and then a performance we look forward to every year the new york city children's chorus is back to spread cheer it may look a bit different this year, of course like everything, but trust us, their voices are as beautiful as always can't wait. coming up in just a few minutes on the third hour of today, a couple on a mission how they are building something special one desk at a time a really cool story coming up on the third hour. and tomorrow on "today," one ballet company says the show st go on taking the christmas classic "the nutcracker" to an outdoor shopping mall iniami of all places. that's tomorrow. >> sounds like a perfect story for christmas eve. how about a check of the weather for christmas eve? >> the weather not so much a
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perfect story. we've got a little bit of everything we've got snow, rain and wind. here we go for christmas eve, the snow and wind will be falling across the upper midwest, back through the great lakes. a soaking rain, and i mean 1 to 3 inches of rain with gusty winds possible for the interior east coast then it moves to the east coast as we go into christmas day. but on the back side of that, it is going to bring in some much colder temperatures, so that's why we'll see that transition from rain to snow in ohio, through the appalachians as we go through christmas eve night and then on christmas day, snow showers continue across the great lakes where we could see 9 to 12 inches of snow and we could also see that heavy rain and wind cause some flooding concerns across especially the new england area where we have all that snow on the ground and then it mixes with rain and causes a whole flooding issue. we also have santa ana winds in the southwest and another storm makes its way into the pacific good morning. i'm meteorologist kari hall.
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as we are going to have a couple more days of dry weather, and then we are anticipating a storm that will be coming in on christmas afternoon into the evening. seeing off and on rain through the weekend. expect highs to start to cool off as well into the upper 50s. still cold mornings as the rounds of rain continue for san francisco expect highs that reach into the 50s, and we are going to have some wet weather extending into next week. >> and that's your latest forecast >> all right, dylan, thank you up next, stephanie ruhle is standing by. she's got some fun ideas for celebrating the holidays with family that's far away and in fact it might even start some new traditions, her ideas are a drink with friends can turn into a few. stop! it's easy to lose track. and getting a dui is easier than you think. plan ahead, call a cab. share a ride. if you choose to drink, choose a sober way to go. go safely, california.
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for members like martin. an air force veteran made of doing what's right, not what's easy. so when a hailstorm hit, usaa reached out before he could even inspect the damage. that's how you do it right. usaa insurance is made just the way martin's family needs it with hassle-free claims, he got paid before his neighbor even got started. because doing right by our members, that's what's right. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. ♪ usaa we're made for. a drink with friends can turn into a few. stop! it's easy to lose track. and getting a dui is easier than you think. plan ahead, call a cab. share a ride. if you choose to drink, choose a sober way to go. go safely, california. holiday celebrations are going to look a little different this year but that doesn't mean we
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still can't enjoy the season, right? >> that's right. nbc senior business correspondent stephanie ruhle has great tips and advice on last-minute ways to celebrate the holidays safely at home. we're also honoring your traditions and maybe starting some new ones. it's great to see you, let's dive right into this as craig was saying, just about everything is different this year but what are some ways that you can enjoy the holiday with family >> good morning and happy holidays to you all. if your family's big plan is to do via zoom or facetime a big gift unwrapping, i know that's an awesome idea. but if you have little kids, that big idea is going to be done in four minutes so you'll have to think of something else. and i don't want you to think, oh, my god, i need some giant stressful thing. you don't. but you do need to do a little planning while using facetime or zoom are great, remember, if you're including your extended family try to keep the technical difficulty as low as possible because trying to connect and do all sorts of complicated things
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only adds to the stress. so let's say you are now all connected or you're just with your immediate family, what are you going to do. dohat you like to do, what you normally do. how about christmas carols they're easy to sing, everybody knows the words. bring it together, make a list, everyone gets to pick their favorite songs sing together as a family. if you want to do more than that, maybe enlist carson daly in your family or a teen who fancies themselves as a dj, get a playlist together and do a family dance party if you're not doing a family dance party, this is the holiday where we exchange gifts, it's also not too late to do that it is too late to ship or go to the store but there are websites that can help you if you want to do a gift exchange, if you want to do a secret santa go to white elephant on line something my family does every year, our secret santa, we give our special talents, the gift of service, which means give something you know how to do to someone else in your family and that means you're going to see them later in the year
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my brother-in-law is really handy. last year he gave he'll come to your house and hang all your pictures that's a great gift. i gave a recipe. my husband who is a total nerd gave -- he went to your house and gave you all new super secure passwords, the two-step authentication which we crushed him for but my dad got it and it ended up being a totally great gift. >> i can see andy giving that actually. >> totally. >> those are great ideas if you have kids. what if you don't have kids or if you just want to do something that's just a smidge more lowkey than that? >> if you don't have kids, one of the things this year we saw get really popular, especially with office parties, were wine tasting classes, cocktail making classes. now, you don't have to be, you know, a super mixologist, but one person in the friend group can offer to be the instructor
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pick an easy drink a christmas cosmo or a mistletoe margarita. make sure you have the ingredients, everybody makes it together and drinks together if your friend tradition is you all go out to eat every year, make you go to a mexican restaurant or a chinese restaurant if you live in the same city, order from the same restaurant and you're eating together but all in your open houses. lastly, always go back to games. families like to play a lot of games. this year so many companies have upped what they offer online trivia games, board games online, pictionary style games where you're drawing on the screen. >> do you have any other things that you've had to adjust to do this year? >> our family are talkers and we haven't had to adjust. something we really like to do is call people on the phone. people who you don't talk to every day. once a year, my dad always calls his army buddies on christmas. carson, you might go with my granny's plan, she used to call her ex-boyfriends on christmas use this day to say there's a person you really want to talk to you but during the year you
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don't know when you're going to call them. think about christmas. it's so great when you pick up the phone and it's your old, old friend who just wants to catch up. >> army buddies may be better than the exes. >> i think so. >> talking doesn't cost you anything all right, steph, such great tips thank you so much. >> merry christmas, my friend. >> merry christmas. >> happy holidays. coming up next, someone who's in the same boat as so many of us, olympic swimmer katie ledecky is trying to keep the family holiday traditions alive, even though they can't be together we'll catch up with her about how they're making the best of it while she gets ready for, of course, the tokyo olympics. >> i like the mini tree she's got there. >> me too. >> but fir
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we are back now we are back now at 8:42. new year's on the horizon and with it a whole host of things to look forward to, including, i cannot wait for this, the olympics. >> same here in exactly seven months, the
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best and brightest of team usa will make their way to tokyo to finally compete in the postponed summer games one of the athletes we really can't wait to watch is 15-time world swimming champ, 14-time world record breaker, five-time olympic gold medalist, we could go on and on but katie ledecky is there, up early in california. so good to see you, katie. here's the thing, katie, you like the rest of us, cooped up inside or have you been able to train like you normally would? >> yeah, thanks for having me. happy holidays it's pretty much like everyone else i'm really only leaving my apartment to go to some practice and to train, so i'm spending the holidays by myself at home doing virtual activities with my family just like everyone else. >> so, katie, seven months out now, how are you feeling about the olympics any hesitations or are you ready to go?
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>> i'm excited i'm really looking forward to having the opportunity to hopefully represent team usa i'm training hard and getting ready to go for 2021 >> katie, i have to ask, with an extra year to train, is that something like, yes, i get to keep going for an extra year before i have to compete or is it like, ugh, i have to do another year before i compete? >> i love training so i've enjoyed having a really good block of training over the last couple of months i'm excited for what i can do in competition next year. >> katie, the big story as you well know, the vaccines are starting to roll out here in the u.s. i don't know how it works, so a two-part question. would the ioc come to you and ask you to take a vaccine, and would you? is that how it's going to happen, do you know? >> i'm definitely going to get the vaccine when it's available to me. i'm so happy to see so many health care workers getting it now. i know eventually it will be available for all of us. i'm looking forward to getting it i don't know exactly how it's all going to work.
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i'm just going to keep my ears open and make sure i get it when it's available to me. >> katie, you and i got to spend some time together in rio. if i'm not mistaken, i mean you're 23. this is going to be your third olympics, right? >> yes, my first one was when i was in 15 in london. so hopefully i'm in tokyo, yep. >> do you still get nervous? are you nervous at all about the third games or at this point is it just old hat to you >> oh, i always get nervous before my races. i think most swimmers would tell you that if you're nervous, you care. i'm working hard every day so that i'm confident i think that's the most important thing, to have confidence but also have those nerves to have that energy to go out and really compete at the highest level. >> yeah, your nerves keep you on your toes, right, katie? what do you think just taking a step back is going to mean for folks, provided that all goes as planned and the olympics can go forward, to see you all there,
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all of you athletes standing there, going to have the olympics >> right i think right when the olympics were postponed, i started thinking about how special that really could be with kind of the first time hopefully the world is able to come together and cheer on their athletes. i hope that we're in a good place by july of 2021 and that it can be a tribute to the world being able to come together and defeat the virus. >> you know, you raise an interesting point, katie the olympics has always been one of those things, perhaps one of those rare things that unifies the entire world but you've got to think that in tokyo it's going to take on additional, special meaning and going to unify the globe in a way that we haven't seen before. is there something that since you've been staying in your apartment, is there a new hobby perhaps that you've picked up. >> do you play guitar now?
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>> is there something that you're doing that you haven't been doing a year ago? >> i've been really busy taking classes. so i just finished my degree at stanford. >> hey >> yes, i'm so happy about that. it was different taking classes virtually, but i'm just so happy that i was able to finish up my degree and take a lot of really interesting classes in this time >> katie ledecky, college graduate, gold medalist, rearing to go for tokyo. happy holidays, katie. happy holidays. >> congrats on the degree. that's awesome. >> thank you, thanks. >> good luck best of luck to you. by the way, tokyo olympics coming to the networks of nbc this summer. ladies and gentlemen, it's happening. can't wait for tokyo 2021. >> it's going to be fantastic. up next, so this video is from this time last year there it is. you remember that. it seems like a lifetime ago in some ways. that's the new york city children's chorus performing on the plaza for us we miss seeing them in person, but luckily they are back for a
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new kind of concert this year. we'll have it for you right after this
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the usual gifts are just not going to cut it. we have to find something else. good luck! what does that mean? we are doomed. [laughter] that's it. i figured it out! we're going to give togetherness. that sounds dumb. we're going to take all those family moments and package them. hmm. [laughing] that works.
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welcome back on a wednesday morning. we've got some big birthdays to celebrate. >> yesterday we did 1-year-olds, today we're back at it with 100-year-olds. let's spin around that smuckers jar and wish a very happy birthday to dorothea garaventing a. she's been married for 62 sizzling years mini ingliese is also 100 years old. happy 105th birthday from frances clark lee. she loves to watch basketball but only when lebron james is playing. horacio martinez is 100 years old.
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he worked as a teacher for 30 years before retiring. thank you for that and we salute you for your service doris gordon is 100 also she loves to hit the town in her black cadillac see her cruising by. let's say happy birthday to dave difford. this proud business owner is 105 years old. he said there's two secrets to longevity, having a positive attitude and daily acts of kindness if you'd like us to honor your family members birthday go to >> announcer: the citi music series on "today" is presented to you by citi. >> our citi music series always brings us good cheer since christmas is only two days away, how about some chorus? >> we have a real treat this morning. we want to end this hour with a
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virtual performance of "o come all ye faithful" from the new york city children's chorus. everybody enjoy this faithful ♪ ♪ joyful and ♪ o come all you faithful ♪ joyful and triumphant ♪ o come ye, o come ye toye bethlehem ♪ ♪ come and behold him ♪ born the king of angels ♪ o come, let us adore him ♪ o come, let us adore him ♪ o come, let us adore him ♪ christ the lord ♪ sing choirs of angels ♪ sing in exultation ♪ sing all ye citizens of heave above ♪ ♪ glory to god ♪ all glory in the highest ♪ o come, let us adore him ♪ o come, let us adore him ♪ o come, let us adore him lor♪
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♪ sing choirs of angels ♪ sing in ♪ christ the lord ♪ yea lord we greet thee n afar ♪ ♪ glory to god ♪ ♪ born this happy morning ♪ jesus to thee be glory given ♪ word of the father ♪ now in flesh appearing ♪ o come, let us adore him ♪ him ♪ o come, let us adore him him♪ ♪ christ the lord
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♪ ye lord we greet thee ♪ born this happy morning ♪ god of the father ♪ o come, let us adore him ♪ o come, let us adore him ♪ o come, let us ♪ o come, let us adore him ♪ come and behold him ♪ born the king of angels ♪ o come, let us adore him ♪ o come, let us adore him ♪ o come, let us adore him
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♪ christ the lord
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good morning. it's 8:56. i'm marcus washington. san francisco's top doctor says lives saved by the current stay-at-home order but new cases surging average 275 per day. the rate appears to be slowing. two weeks ago new cases grew by about 8%. it is now at 2%.
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bay area covid surge is not keeping everyone from last-mint shopping. we smoke to shoppers who couldn't believe how busy malls are. health leaders are pleading with people to think twice before going out and shopping, but about gathering, get their things together two days from now. happening for you now, a lot of americans rushing to get their holiday destinations and get their quickly. bay area airports still seeing crowds. more at "midday."
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the best california has to off everying, "california live," weekdays 11:30 a.m. on bay city
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area. latest on covid relief talks and what it means for your stimulus check. >> christmas dinner giveaway. tomorrow morning, 4:30 to 7:00. . good morning. how can i help? i need help connecting with my students. behind every last minute save, ok, that works. and holiday surprise, thank you! a customer service rep is working unseen, making it happen. and at genesys, we're proud to help them help you everyday.
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live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza, this is the third hour of "today." >> good morning and welcome to the third hour of "today." i am dylan here with craig and -- just craig. we must be getting closer to christmas because we're losing people. >> then there were two. >> al and sheelle obviously enjoying some time off. tomorrow is christmas eve, if you can believe it. we are counting down the days also until 2021, if you can believe it. this morning we are going to look back at the year in entertainment. some of the biggest moments, a lot of those you've probably forgotten even happened. you're going to be like that was this


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