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tv   Early Start With Christine Romans and Laura Jarrett  CNN  August 20, 2021 2:00am-2:59am PDT

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it is friday, august 20th. happy friday, everybody. it is 5:00 a.m. in new york. thanks for getting an early start with us. i'm christine romans. >> and i'm laura jarrett. we have reports this morning from kabul, state department, doha, hong kong, capitol hill, and beijing as only "early start" can. but we begin with the u.s. struggling to speed up evacuations in afghanistan. the white house says about 3,000 people were airlifted from kabul thursday, nearly 350 of them were american citizens. the u.s. has said it should be able to evacuate 5,000 to 9,000
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people a day, so this is behind that pace with tens of thousands of americans and afghan allies still waiting for a way out. >> cnn has also learned military commanders are in contact with taliban militants about security on those chaotic streets around the airport. constant reminders of the human beings caught up in all of this. that's right, especially children. new video shows a toddler being handed to american troops on top of the wall at the airport perimeter in kabul. >> meantime the state department is engaged in high level diplomatic talks with the taliban in the neutral setting of doha, where we find nick paton walsh. good morning, the taliban starting a violent crackdown, we've all seen the images. obviously the situation at the airport remains chaotic and tense. who knows where this goes. what are you seeing on the ground and what do you think happens once the western media starts to leave?
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>> reporter: that is of course the major question. we've seen initially taliban that have come to power possibly a little shocked about how easy this was, possibly internally still trying to work out who is going to be their boss. that is possibly why there is a little bit of a vacuum here, a little bit of positive, a goodwill that is looking to for international recognition to come forward. so that moment is on pause. but seeing around the edges, there are some it seems taliban elements cracking down on protests in various cities, other reports of people concerned about their own safety too. now this new government is in place. and the taliban also clearly blocking access for many afghans, the main arterial road to get to that key airport. the airport is the last enduring symbol of america's longest war now and how this is handled will probably write the history of the end of this chapter. as it stands, things do appear
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to be changing a little around the airport. i've seen video of what looks like afghan special forces who are on the inside of that airport coming out and trying to push crowds back. and essentially creating a space between the gates and some people trying to get in. that i understand has enabled people to -- in fact one person i was speaking through a source about to get inside the base. so there appears to be the ability for afghans to get on to that particular base and there appears to be increasing numbers of individuals inside that base. so it is possibly beginning to become a numbers issue inside the base where they simply have got enough people to put on those planes. the white house said that on thursday, they evacuated 3,000. now, that sounds ls like a lot,t it is not commensurate with the 11 planes that you had. and i'm struggling to tally the 3,000 with the statement that we
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got from the state department yesterday that 6,000 people were on the base and had been processed. so clearly then if you do the math there is something like about 3,000 people still stuck there who haven't been transported out. which leads you to ask is there a lack of airplanes. when i landed in guqatar, there was c-17 airport. so there may be something of a jam inside the airport. it is an enormous logistical problem and of course something which president biden has made specific problems about. but the fact that the u.s. commanders have speaking it seems to taliban, it was not clear from the pentagon precisely what was being discussed and the pentagon a little bit sort of opaque in saying how those discussions were getting them what they needed. i suspect it is because they are asking the taliban to stay back from the base itself, they are not interfering with the gates as far as we understand, just access to the roads to them, but this could all change. it remains extremely volatile and so many trying to get in means that the project basically
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hour by hour vacillates between accessible and totally closed down. >> and nick, there are new concerns this morning about u.s. military equipment left behind by fleeing afghan soldiers. you see these image as of humvees and helicopters and drones and weapons in the hands of the taliban. and potentially even worse here just a swift collapse of the military left a lot of american paid-for armaments in their hands. >> yeah, the small arms will be an issue certainly, there should be enough ammunition there. and i should point out there was sort of a time when actually getting the right ammunition for the weapons issued to the afghan army was sometimes a problem as well. the humvees, the mraps, the massive armor vehicles left behind are a massive symbolic blow to the united states to see the taliban cruising around in them. it may not be a permanent proposition for them to keep these functioning, keep these
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maintained, it was a massive challenge at times for the afghan army with u.s. backing. so these vehicles may at some point become in-usable. but still for the time notice to see the convoys that they are capable of putting together and the extra muscle that gives the taliban is a startling blow for this closing chapter. >> nick, as this week comes to a close, you have sort of a step back piece up on cnn right now and i think the title really says it all, you say before this week, when did you last think of afghanistan. you were based in kabul for some time, you reported there for years. what do you think the world needs to know about this today? >> this is what happens when you are not paying attention to a war. the engagement of u.s. soldiers there is no higher thing to ask of people. so you cannot do it as a side project. to some degree that is president biden's message here that you cannot engage in something like this unless you really mean it.
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the u.s. has had people in arm's way, afghans have had people in harm's way, but fwhaechb doing as little as they can to prevent the collapse we saw in just 11 days. the absence ever constant scrutiny and constant support, this being far from the headlines of so much u.s. news bulletins for so long means that there wasn't scrutiny on how badly this was going, on what the actual strategy was. and so it drifted in neutral to the point where president trump could say i'll just get out of there and it didn't make that much of a wave at that time. president biden has got out of there, it has left this extraordinary vacuum and collapse. and i think the question to ask here is not how did this collapse happen, to some glee there was inevitability about it. the question is how did we not see it in the years and billions paid into it. the fatigue that set around the war, the tiny number comparatively of americans who
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actually served and sadly i think hopefully that lesson may be learned that if you will put people in harm's way and fight the longest war, you have to be sure that you are paying constant attention to what is going owrong and speaking truthfully about it. >> and clearly taliban well prepared and ready to go for when this actually happened. nick paton walsh, thank you. also overnight, diplomatic dissent, the biden administration was warned of potential catastrophe coming in afghanistan. a group of diplomats wrote a letter in july recommending that the afghan allies be evacuated quickly. and we get more this morning from kylie atwood at the state department. >> reporter: u.s. diplomats wrote a classified dissent memo to secretary of state antony blinken in mid-july urging the department to take more rapid action to process and evacuate the afghans who worked alongside u.s. troops and u.s. diplomats
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because they were watching what was unfolding in the country. they predicted that the afghan government would fall by the time the u.s. military completely withdrew in august. and they were frustrated that there wasn't enough being done to mitigate against a chaotic situation when that happened. now, deputy national security adviser john finer spoke with wolf blitzer about this dissent memo and said that they did predict that the afghan government would fall but not as quickly as it did. >> i think that the dabl re cab reflects what we've said all along, nobody had it right that the afghan army would collapse in a matter of days. >> reporter: and certain things that they suggested that the biden administration quickly inch pr implemented. but also things in there that weren't. ned price said that the secretary of state reads all dissent memos, so therefore he would have read this one. and he reviews all the responses
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to them. he also said that this administration values dissent memos and they implement what is said in there into their policy planning. but it is noteworthy that there even was a dissent memo in the first place. it tells you that these diplomats were already frustrated because this is a last ditch effort that diplomats make when they feel that their voices aren't being heard and they want to tell the secretary about what they are seeing. >> k >> thank you. and cnn has learned that the white house wants to focus on what is going on at home. keeping the focus on critical domestic issues. cnn is live on capitol hill next. ♪ things you start when you're 45. coaching. new workouts. and screening for colon cancer. yep. the american cancer society recommends screening starting at age 45, instead of 50,
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or bring a friend and you both get a month for $5. president biden set to address the nation at 1:00 p.m. eastern today and the u.s. senate will hold a virtual briefing later this afternoon. daniella diaz has the details live from which capitol hill. >> reporter: these lawmakers want to know about the time line for afghanistan and what led to this collapse of this government. you know, these senators are planning to get an unclassified virtual briefing on afghanistan at around 3:00 p.m. today by secretary of state antony bli blinken, secretary of defense and also joint chiefs of staff mark milley. this is just a day after a bipartisan group of senators, 53 actually, sent a letter to
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president biden urging that he and the administration evacuate afghan special immigrant visa applicants and their families urgently. but look, it is important to note that the white house is pushing through on its domestic agenda. president biden is not shying away from his goals to pass this infrastructure bill. in fact he actually had a meeting yesterday with democratic lawmakers about infrastructure, not about afghanistan. and as well as increasing jobs, building jobs, so that is what his priority is right now. of course they are also talking about booster shots. he is not talking about afghanistan which is why it is going to be very interesting to hear from him today on the issue. but the bottom line here is that these lawmakers want answers. and it is not just republican lawmakers who are criticizing the biden administration on this, it is also democratic lawmakers. and they want answers, they want briefings, they will have congressional hearings. this is just the first of many hearings, many briefings on this
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issue as they try to get answers on what happened in afghanistan. >> and already hearing some gop lawmakers and critics of this administration trying to cast this as biden's benghazi moment, frame it in that sort -- even as the president is trying to keep things focused on the domestic agenda. thank you so much. still ahead, masks on in texas schools, the state supreme court dealing a blow to governor abbott's gamble with kids' health. stay with us. try boost glucose control. it's clinically shown to help manage blood sugar levels and contains high quality protein to help manage hunger and support muscle health. try boost today. usaa is made for the safe pilots. like mac. who can come to a stop with barely a bobble. with usaa safepilot, when you drive safe... can save up to 30% on your auto insurance. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. get a quote today. i don't hydrate like everyone else. because i'm not everyone else.
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are allowed to keep local mask mandates after the street supreme court's rejected governor abbott's request to intervene. so mask mandates still stand. texas health officials are warning of fill icu beds. additional medical personnel will be deployed. >> it is a warzone in terms of how packed it is and feels like a warzone in terms of how sick the patients are. >> i lost my brother saturday. five days for an icu bed and never happened. right now all i can do is walk in and say i hope we have a bed available because we probably don't. in georgia governor kemp allowed businesses to ignore local mask or vaccine mandates. doctors in georgia warning of a tsunami of patients coming into
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hospitals. in kentucky, record coronavirus cases and pediatric intensive care reported just weeks into the school year. >> sending up masked unvaccinated kids into a poorly ventilated classroom is like holding the world's largest chickenpox party except it is the third leading cause of death. >> in california, the culver city school system will require all eligible students ages 12 and up to be vaccinated by mid november. this appears to be the first public school district in the country to mandate the vaccine for students. starting today san francisco residents 12 and older will be required to show proof of full vaccination to enter indoor restaurants, bar, gyms and theaters. yesterday was the first day with more than 1 million vaccine doses administered in close to seven weeks. southern states that have struggled with the virus, louisiana, arkansas, florida, texas and mississippi.
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>> now, getting the vaccine is your choice. it is your decision. however, more and more mississippians are concluding that getting vaccinated is a good choice. a good choice not only for themselves, but for the people around them. >> meantime the "washington post" reports that the catholic archdiocese of philadelphia is rejecting religious exemptions to covid vaccine mandates. philadelphia joins five other diocese that have told priests not hepa requireners evade the mandates. the others are san diego, new york, los angeles, honolulu and camden, new jersey. higher car prices may be sticking around. the surge in covid cases especially in southeast asia prompting a new round of supply shortages and plant shutdowns. toyota shutting down 14 japanese plants because of the delta variant amid a global chip shortage.
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volkswagen said that it may be forced to make similar production cuts because of new covid outbreaks in malaysia. it automakers have been struggling to meet surging demand. tightening supplies led to a shortage of cars. for shoppers it means higher prices for both new and used cars. ongoing issues will keep prices at record levels. and coming up, clarissa ward is at the airport in kabul.
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good morning. this is earlystart. and it is 30 minutes past the hour. time for our top stories. the u.s. evacuated about 3,000 people from kabul airport thursday. thousands more remain before the august 31 deadline. the top u.s. commander in afghanistan has been talking with his taliban counterpart on security around the airport with mixed results. the u.s. embassy warns it cannot ensure safe passage for americans trying to reach that airport. u.s. diplomats wrote a classified cable to secretary of state antony blinken in mid-july urging swift action to prevent a catastrophe in afghanistan. state department officials tell cnn they urged the white house to move quickly on process and evacuate afghans who helped the
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u.s. texas house democrats suddenly ending their historic walkout after more than 5 weeks, it paves the way for restrictive new voting legislation. and authorities working to determine the charges against a bomb threat suspect on capitol hill. officials say floyd rose bury owing drove his chuck on to the sidewalk in front of the lied braer of con library of congress.buryowing d the sidewalk in front of the lied library of congress. three u.s. senators testing positive for coronavirus. they were all vaccinated and all said to be doing okay. the cdc says be through oig cases remain rare. and sexually explicit content will be banned starting in october but it habit cohasn' defined what it means.
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and climate change hurting sea levels and your health. new study find as very concerning 74% increase in heat-related deaths caused by climate change between 1980 and 2016. deaths related to extremely cold temperatures have also increased. and speaking of the climate crisis, for the first time ever recorded, rain rather than snow fell at the highest point in greenland roughly 2 miles above sea level. experts say it is evidence that green land's arctic climate is warming quickly. and let's go to kabul now and clarissa ward. she has been reporting on the chaos from outside the airport and now she is inside the airport and filed this report. >> reporter: our journey took us roughly seven hours. the vast majority of people we've spoken to know, it has been one or two days to try to get in. and i have to tell you, that initial shove to get in the first gate is unlike anything i've ever experienced.
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pushing, crushing, people screaming, all holding on to each other's hands desperately trying to get in this small door. we were lucky because we were american citizens. but so many others are not. having said that, we have seen many afghans inside various checkpoints moving through the very slow system to try to evacuate people. some of them standing out in the blazing hot sun for ate hours, screaming babies. at one stage we saw a newborn baby brought through on a military vehicle at high speed because the baby had dehydrated and had heat stroke. one soldier told me that yesterday people were actually throwing babies at these u.s. soldiers because they were so desperate to get their children out to a better future. one of these men actually caught one of the babies and later
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found the family and returned the child to the family. but that doesn't speak to the unimaginable desperation, i don't know what does. one of the soldiers here said that they have evacuated 13,000 people since last friday, the largest airlift evacuation in u.s. history according to him. but my god, there is still a lot of work to do, a lot more people to save. the crowds outside the airport do not get any smaller. they seem to get bigger if anything every day. >> clarissa, thank you for that report. and all this as china is embracing the taliban now lending a powerful international backing to the militant group. but their awkward alliance began well before the taliban steam rolled kabul. so what is behind the relationship? david culver is live for us in beijing. david, good morning.
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what is beijing's motivation here? >> reporter: good morning. they are clearly making this a very public move to show their support and willingness to cooperate with the taliban. in fact from the foreign ministry, we heard that they said that the taliban is more so sober and rational than before and they are not expected to repeat past history. no matter how you look at this, it makes for awkward allies. just weeks before the taliban seized power in afghanistan, china made a very public display of growing closer to the group's leadership. chinese foreign minister meeting a taliban delegation in northern china in july giving legitimacy and perhaps confidence to the militant group long regarded with fear and suspicion by the rest of the word. and china remains one of the few to retain its embassy in the capital. but china's support for the taliban comes with strings
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attached. cho china's help with reconstruction in exchange for stability. >> they will never allow afghan territories to enter into china. >> reporter: a deal brokered between awkward allies. a militant group and chinese gove government. but china's relationship with the taliban goes back a long way. >> it established relations with the taliban already in 1999. at the encouragement of pakistan which is one china's closest allies. >> reporter: the relationship was seengmatism to manage a potential threat as they share a small border. and chooe's multibillion-dollar areas are at take. >> they are wary to get involved
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and so at this stage i think trying to cultivate the taliban with investments is the least worst option. >> reporter: the taliban for its part has not spoken out publicly against china's crackdown on its uighur population, a silence replicated by many other muslim majority countries such as iran and saudi arabia. the chinese government defending its policy trying to stamp out terrorism. after several attacks which it blamed on a group called the etim, a tiny fringe group that began to dissolve when its leader was killed by the pakistani mill 245er in 2003. sean roberts, author of" the war on the weerg uighurs" said it ue war on terror to justify its target. >> i think that it shielded china from a lot of criticism for some of the draconian
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policies that it carried out against uighurs. >> reporter: but other groups who could use the plight of weaker cause to recruit jihadis, as it tries to navigate the new political reality on its doorstep. it does seem that the cozying inbetween china and the taliban is based on trying to maintain regional and social stability right here within china. but we cannot forget the money at stake here. afghanistan sets on an estimated $1 trillion worth of mineral wealth. you can bet that china is also looking at that. >> electronics, navigation, rechargele batteries, a lot of things to fight the climate change. a lot of thing depends on the mother loadde of the earth minerals. a satisfactory reason to keep the ties open. and kamala harris will be leaving for southeast asia tonight with the administration
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in desperate need of a foreign m policy win. jasmine wright is live in washington. and the vice president's first foreign trip was a bet of a disaster. now perhaps more on the line.of disaster. now perhaps more on the line. >> reporter: that's right. it turned what was once a low risk trip to the friendly countries of singapore and vietnam into frankly a big challenge for the vice president. because remember, even though, yes, she did go for guatemala and mexico, over a dozen calls with world leaders since her time as vice president, in a time of crisis as this is, she has not been tested on the world stage and this is what this trip presents. so she will are really two big missions when she touches down overseas. first, it will be to deliver a policy win for the biden administration really as the president and the administration itself faces questions of their competence from allies abroad. and second, it will be to really
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embody that pivot that president biden has been calling for, to focus his foreign policy attention on countering arising china. he has said many times before, fighting the battles of the next 20 years instead of fighting the battles of the last 20 years. and this is a region that wants former president obama first invested in, president trump kind of pulled out, president biden going back in, and they want to talk about sustained u.s. investment, they want to talk about trade, they want to talk about countering chinese aggression in the south china sea. so that is something that officials tell me in this piece that just came out that the vice president will be talking about. but really the big fish for them is trying to deepen the alliances in that state as one source put to me, vice president harris will have the challenge alone to answer the question of
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can america reassert itself. so the vice president will be leaving tonight, she gets there sunday morning and the first events start monday on this very big trip. >> jazzsmjasmine, thank you for. have a nice weekend. if you're 55 and up, t- mobile has plans built just for you. switch today and get 2 lines of unlimited and 2 free smartphones. plus you'll now get netflix on us. all this for up to 50% off vs. verizon. it's all included. 2 lines of unlimited for only $70 bucks. and this rate is fixed. you'll pay exactly $70 bucks total. this month and every month. only at t-mobile. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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hurricane watches issued for parts of the northeast and new england now, tropical storm henri will make for a wet weekend ahead. derek van dam has the forecast. >> augll eyes on henry owi and good reason. here is the latest from the national hurricane center. 65-mile-per-hour tropical storm located well off the southeast coast. the official forecast track calls for a strengthening storm into a category 1 hurricane as it makes its final approach into
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southern new england. again, late sunday into early monday. what is steering this is so important. we have high pressure to the north and east, an upper level low working either way across the mid-atlantic, that will help the almost north to n northwesterly jog. and it will take advantage of the relatively warm ocean waters helping to strengthen the storm as well. significant model differences, of course lots of details still to iron out, but one thing for sure, tropical mischief this weekend. and if you plan on flying american airlines anytime soon, don't expect mid flight cocktails. the airline is extending the current ban on alcohol in the main cabin until january 2022. and drinks are blamed for
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passengers behaving badly. those who refuse to wear masks, struck flight attendants and threw luggage. officials say there have been nearly 3900 in-flight incidents reported. and laura, these flight incident, many are overmasks. and now questions about vaccine requirements on planes. we're in this sort of culture war over wearing a mask, getting a vaccine. people are coming unglued. one of the questions i've been hearing about is insurance companies, can they add a premium for being unvaccinated? >> oh, how i wish the answer to this was easy. but it is not. it is messy. and the idea here being that, look, if people have chosen to not get vaccinated, they are making a risky choice that the rest of us shouldn't have to pay for. think about things like scuba diving, smoking, rock climbing. if you get injured from something like that, certain
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insurers won't pay for certain treatment. so the idea being here the vaccine is now available, why should we bear that cost. the problem is that there are actually state and federal regulations that make it tricky to price based on health factors. the affordable care act says you can't discriminate based on pre-existing conditions. >> but is not getting a vaccine a pre-existing condition? >> no, it is a lifestyle choice. but again the other regulations that make it tricky. what you can do though is incentivize people to get vaccinated and certain employers who are already seen doing this, maybe giving you 20 bucks off the way you would if you wanted to engage in say a lifestyle choice that was about losing weight. employers can give you a little bit off your health insurance that way. so i think that is the route that they are going. but so far, they haven't gone the route of penalizing people for not getting vaccinated with the insurance. but they may try to this and it will get tested. all of this will get let gated. we know it all ends up in court.
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>> and meantime it is ending up in the hospitals. front leanline workers with peo coming to the e rflrs and not eh beds. now to texas. house democrats ended a 38 day walkout to temporarily block a measure on voting rights. at least three democrats returned to the floor thursday. the texas house now has the required two-thirds of members necessary for a quorum. a public hearing on the voting bill has been set for saturday. on tuesday the texas supreme court ruled that the statehouse could compel the attendance of its members by civil arrest. all right. special treatment for an measure american movie star is sparking backlash. residents have lived with some of the toughest covid restrictions and now so happy that the government in hong kong is making an exception for nicole kid map therman there to shearys.
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will ripley is coming to us live. we've seen you in quarantine many a time. but nicole kid map isman is get pass? >> reporter: i have lost count of how many quarantines i've talked to you from. this is now the beginning of a 14 day quarantine for me. it would have been 21 days but i kit my vacation short by two weeks to race back here to wait this line at the airport for five hours, get tested for covid and then get dumped in this hotel room in complete isolation where i will come my ownmy -- d own laundry in the shower. and nicole kidman flew in a private jet to hong kong, and the city decided to exempt her from the draconian rules that require up to three weeks self paid hotel quarantine for nearly everyone in the city. keeping the indicates out comes at a cost. and for some the cost is so steep they haven't been able to
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leave the city to visit their families, their parents. they can't afford to stay in a hotel room for up to three weeks at their own expense. so the city says that they exempted her because she is vaccinated and she is performing an essential service for the city's economy and that they are monitoring her movements and limiting her interaction with the general public so because of those factor, it is safe. is it fair is? a lot of people here say absolutely not. >> and i identified her as an american actress because i embrace her. >> but she is australian. >> yes. thank you so much. and let's get a check on cnn business this morning. looking at markets to end the week, asian markets closed lower after china passed sweeping new rules about the collection and use of personal data. european shares are also opened slightly lower.
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wall street, stock index futures are leaning down. fed fears back for investors here, third straight day of losses for the dow. milestone for layoff, fewest of the pandemic and the biden administration saying that it will not extend the extra $300 a week in jobless benefits set to expire in early september. it was always meant to be temporary. johnson & johnson will have a new ceo next year january 3. gorsky will become executive chairman. j&j is facing questions whether a booster shot will be needed for its one shot coronavirus vaccine as well as thousands of lawsuits over claims that itstal qc talcum powder caused cancer. and andy scholes has this morning's bleacher report oig. >> fully vaccinated players are
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only tested once every two weeks. that was part of the in-send tent for players to get vacc vaccinated. but justin pugh is test fighting the policies after becoming a breakthrough case. he said that we need daily testing for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. i was vaccinated and still got covid. as of now they are tested every 14 days and that is not enough. who knows how long i walked around the building with it or whoever i got it from. fix this as soon as possible. cardinals currently have three players on the covid-19 reserve list. to baseball, angels matched their largest comeback in team history yesterday. t 10-2 in the sixth when their bats came alive. angels win 13-10. coming into thursday, teams were 1 in 240 when trailing.
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and osaka was upset in cincinnati yesterday. she won the first set, but then struggled dropping the next two. only the fourth time owe saka h lost the match after winning the first set. and she said it was a blessing in disguise. >> i think that i took a step in the right direction today because i was able to process things with my team after i lost. and i honestly haven't been able to do that for the last couple of matches. so in a weird way i'm kind of -- i'm kind of glad that i lost because there are so many things that i want to fix before new york. >> osaka will look to defend her u.s. open title in less than two weeks. and a massive shakeup major league baseball 70 year relationship with tops is coming to an end. according to multiple reports, fanatics has secured the exclusive license to produce
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baseball cards when the deal with tops ends in 2025. and fanatics has also occurred deals with the nba as well. and according to the "wall street journal," the new card company will be a joint venture with the league's and players associations owning equity. and i tell you what, as someone who collects sports cards since i was a little kid and still opening them with my kids, this is a huge shakeup. >> i know laura has a big collection under her bed too. all kinds of baseball cards, right? >> not. >> nice to see you, andy. something you and i know nothing about. >> yeah, not through. >> happy to leave that to andy. thanks for joining us. "new day" is next. usaa is made for the safe pilots. like mac. who can come to a stop with barely a bobble. with usaa safepilot, when you drive safe... can save up to 30%
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♪ good morning to our viewers here in the united states and around the world, it is friday, august 20th. i'm brianna keilar along with john avlon here in studio. >> good morning. >> good morning to you. the clock is ticking


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