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tv   New Day Weekend With Christi Paul and Boris Sanchez  CNN  December 25, 2021 5:00am-6:00am PST

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merry christmas and welcome to this special holiday edition of new day. i'm boris sanchez. >> merry christmas to all of you as well. it is a magical morning. i'm amara walker in for christi paul. coming up this half-hour, just as it seemed like the country was opening up again and businesses were starting to recover, concerns over emerging variants could spell troubling news for the economy heading into next year. >> a veteran still making a difference after her time in the military gets the surprise of a lifetime just in time for christmas morning. she'll join us later this hour.
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we'll hear from one woman who is inspiring work with the homeless and less fortunate has earned her the title cnn hero of the year. >> all that and more is coming up this christmas morning. let's get a check of your news headlines. good morning, boris and merry christmas to all of you. i'm jessica dean in washington. and we begin this morning with a major moment for nasa. >> engine start. and liftoff. james webb begins a voyage back to the birth of the universe. >> the $10 billion james webb telescope lifted off from the european space agency's launch site minutes ago. the telescope which is being called the most powerful ever will take one month to complete its orbit around the sun which is just under a million miles away. because it will be so far away, it won't be able to be serviced
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or repaired should anything go wrong. the telescope will be able to observe the atmosphere of planets outside of our solar system as never before, potentially finding which planets might sustain life. for the second year, covid is shaping, even disrupting holiday plans. airlines have canceled hundreds of flights today. delta, united and jetblue all reporting triple digit cancellations and the busiest day for air travel is yet to come. cnn's pete muntean has more. >> reporter: airlines say that as these omicron cases went up, it caused their staffing levels to go down leading them to cancel flights. most of the flights cancellations on friday were at united airlines and delta air lines but also alegent and jetblue. we obtained a united airlines memo to its staff in which it said these omicron cases are primarily impacting its flight crews and its operations folks, those behind the scenes. now the airline industry says
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there is a fix for all of this. they want the isolation period required for somebody who gets a breakthrough coronavirus case slashed in half. right now it is set at ten days. the airline industry is pleading with the industry to set that at five days even though some unions oppose that. the number of travelers is very high. 2.19 million people screened at airplanes across the country on thursday. still many more busy days ahead. the tsa anticipates another 20 million people will travel between now and january 3rd. that's when they expect everybody to come home all at once. jessica? >> pete muntean for us. thanks so much. and the surge in covid cases from the omicron variant is fueling a high demand for testing, but test locations and test kits are in short supply as people begin to gather for the holidays. this doctor calls it a perfect
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storm this holiday season. >> the holidays have the potential to be a spreader event. now, the most important thing is that people are vigilant and the unfortunate reality is that one of the most important things that you can do, of course, is get boosted and only about 30% of americans have down that. and then there's the access to testing and it's too hard to get that right now. and, unfortunately, given what we understand about how best to use it, oftentimes, to test, you're going to need multiple tests and that's even harder to get. right now, unfortunately, as we're watching people's holiday travels get flummoxed by this virus, that then leads them to stay together in circumstances that they didn't prepare for. you look at this and unfortunately it is the perfect storm happening at the worst possible time for many people. and the white house is taking steps to stop the spread of the omicron variant all across the u.s. jeremy diamond joining us now live. good morning to you. what more can you tell us about
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the administration's response to this latest surge? >> reporter: we're seeing omicron cases sky rocketing across the country and those long testing lines snaking around the country on christmas eve. the white house, though, doesn't have a plan to ramp up testing right now. their plan is to get the 500 million at-home test kits beginning next month. those will be delivered to americans who request them via a website. we've seen president biden take steps to increase surge medical capacity to hospitals around the country that are dealing with these skyrocketing cases. so far, hospitalizations have not risen at the same rate as cases. the white house taking steps to finally reverse that travel ban that president biden put in place about a month ago as it relates to south africa and seven other countries in southern africa. that travel -- those travel restrictions will be lifted beginning december 31st. the president is spending the weekend here at -- in washington at the white house for this
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christmas. yesterday on christmas eve, we saw the president going to children's national hospital joined by first lady jill biden where they spent time with kids there. they then went back to the white house where they phoned into norad which was tracking santa. spoke to several kids and asking them what they wanted for christmas. and we saw the president stop by a christmas tree at a restaurant in washington, d.c. the president was asked what his message is to americans this holiday season. and he said keep the faith. jessica? >> a classic bidenism there. keep the faith. thanks so much. pope francis is calling for dialogue as the world copes with the covid pandemic. in his christmas message from the vatican, the pope warned against the tendency to withdraw during a crisis. in social media relationships and on the international level, dialogue is essential. john alan has more. >> reporter: hi, there, jessica, and a very merry christmas to
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you from the eternal city. yeah, this was very much a covid-scarred pope francis i think we heard from this morning. the pope celebrates his big public mass for christmas the night before on comhristmas eve. then at noon today, he delivered his message to the city and the world. in it, he very much stressed his repeated calls for justice and global access to the vaccines, but beyond that, expressed deep alarm over the social impact of everything that's going on. so women trap add home who are suffering additional abuse, children who are being bullied, elderly people who are isolated alone and afraid, and in response to all of that, he called for a culture of dialogue and encounter that is reaching out to meet people and then engaging them in dialogue, finding out what's on their hearts and minds and trying to be present to them. so all in all, a very pastoral
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but also a very topical message from the pope during this unfortunately covid-encumbered christmas. >> john alan for us, thanks so much. a spokesman for donald trump is suing the january 6th committee. he's trying to keep the committee from getting his records from j.p. morgan. his lawsuit says he's turned over more than 1700 pages of documents and provided four hours of sworn testimony. the committee says he solicited money from a non-profit organization to conduct a social media and radio campaign encouraging people to attend the january 6th rally at the capitol. covid cases surge around the country, will the economic rebound stall? that's after a quick break.
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move your student loan debt to sofi. earn a $1,000 bonus when you refi— and feel what it's like to get your money right. this is your home. this is your family room slash gym. the guest bedroom slash music studio. the daybed slash dog bed. the living room slash yoga shanti slash regional office slash classroom. and this is the basement slash panic room. maybe what your family needs is a vacation home slash vacation home. find yours on the vrbo app. ♪ the coronavirus pandemic weighed heavily on the economy for much of the last two years and with the rise of the omicron variant, it appears that the economic recovery in 2022 might be impacted as well. >> joining us now to discuss
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this is global business columnist of the financial times. she's also a cnn global economic analyst. great to see you. merry christmas to you. >> merry christmas to you both. >> let's start with this letter to the clients that j.p. morgan chase sent and it predicted 2022 will be the year of a full global recovery and end of the global pandemic and a return to normal conditions. we had prior to the covid-19 outbreak. i think this letter was sent a few weeks ago. now it's a very different situation because we're talking about omicron as the dominant variant and, of course, manchin torpedoing the build back better bill. what are your thoughts on this prediction, not happening? >> well, i don't want to be gloomy on christmas, but i think it's a little overly optimistic. i think there's not too much
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question that growth is probably going to be slower this coming year than it was last year. and part of that is the fact that we had such a robust recovery from those initial couple of rebounds from covid, you know, beginning over the last couple of years. this year, the rubber is really going to hit the road. we've got not only this new variant to deal with, we've got supply chain shortages and we have rising wages which on the one hand is good for people in terms of the amount of money they have in their pockets to spend, but it's going to make things tougher for businesses and that could put some dents in hiring. the final wrinkle in the puzzle here is the fed. and the fed raising rates. the fed has said that it wants to get inflation in control and we might be looking at three interest rate hikes in the new year and markets never like interest rates going up. that's always a delicate balancing act. there's a lot to juggle here. >> yeah, you're absolutely right about inflation. in november, prices rose at
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their fastest pace in nearly 40 years. do you think the feds sort of pumping the breaks on that aspect of the economy by hiking interest rates might have unintended consequence, though, and might ultimately further complicate the sort of weird version of inflation that the united states is dealing with? >> well, you've really hit it on the head there. weird version of inflation. this is not '70s-style inflation. there's a lot of variables in play. we've just come out of a pandemic. some countries are recovering. on the other, some are being hard hit. europe in particular being hard hit by this new variant. there's not one picture in the economy right now. whenever you get an interest rate hike, the market tends to dip, it tends to get a little volatile. a lot of people are saying, we've done okay, if markets start to dip, does that hit consumer spending? on the other hand, you don't want to let inflation get out of
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control. and so the upside to this could be if the fed gets out ahead of inflation, you know, even if we see some inflation in the coming year, that you could set the stage for a healthier recovery and a period that could be maybe like the '80s with you started the decade with high inflation but you ended up with really high growth because the fed did a good job. >> back to the job market that you were mentioning and you were saying this might be difficult time for businesses because wages are up, but with the great resignation, millions of people leaving their jobs, retiring early, what does this mean for the regular person who is looking to get more money in their pocket? >> i think it's never been a better time, certainly, in my memory, to be a worker. we've come through four decades in which labor didn't have a lot of bargaining power. that's really changed now in the last couple of years. so it's a good time to be looking for a job. and you're seeing people say, you know what, i'm not willing to work for 15, $20 an hour even. i want more. and i want better benefits.
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and i want more freedom. younger people in particular are saying, we want to live differently. and i think we're at the beginning of an entirely new era for work-life balance and even the geography of work. people moving out of cities and into different parts of the country. >> how do you think the supply chain issues are going to shake out in 2022? >> the first quarter are going to be volatile, i would say. you are still going to see some of those supply chain issues coming through. but i'm optimistic, by the second half of the year, you could see technology actually really helping companies start to balance that. already, big companies, walmart, costco, target are saying we want to own more of our supply chain. we want to control that, we want to use technology to smooth out the cycle. so, you know, christmas hasn't been canceled and i think that things will get better in this way in the new year. >> what a way to end the conversation with optimism and i
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have to say, i know there were so many concerns about the supply chain and perhaps it's because i bought my christmas presents early. but they all came on time and early. christmas is not canceled for my family. good for you. great to see you. thank you so much for the conversation. >> thank you. so from covid concerns to economic instability, it's understandable that a lot of people feel stressed out and overwhelmed. after a quick break, we're going to talk to an expert about how to cope during these uncertain times. stay with us. ♪ (man) still asleep. (woman vo) so, where to next? (vo) reflect on the past, celebrate the future. season's greetings from audi. ♪ things you start when you're 45.
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it's been a hard year or two, a global pandemic with new variants and as we've been talking about this morning, resurgent waves, the economic upheaval that comes with that, plus, political battles that strain the very foundation of the republic. there's a lot to be stressed
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about. fortunately, though, this morning we have an expert on how to cope with this increasingly stressful world. psychiatrist and psycho analyst dr. gail saltz joins us now. also the host of how can i help podcast. doctor, thank you so much for sharing part of your weekend with us. given that we're apparently on the cusp of this new wave of coronavirus cases, almost inevitably followed by death, what kind of an impact do you expect that's going to have on a population that's already been through so much? >> unfortunately, we, as you mentioned earlier, already had all of these issues going on and we were really in a wave already, a pandemic, if you will, of mental health issues. people who were already struggling are struggling more. people that weren't having mental health issues before are now. we've seen a tremendous rise in the number of people with clinical depression, anxiety disorders, overdoses, lots of
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issues that are about our mental health and the only good news i could say is that has really risen the awareness of mental health issues which i think is decreasing stigma and allowing more people to seek treatment. so we have huge numbers of people. most of my colleagues, everybody has waiting lists, people have discovered in this time period that telehealth, teletherapy actually is every bit as effective as in-person and that is also good news so that people can seek it even while not exposing themselves. they can seek it even if they don't have somebody close to them that does therapy. they can reach out to somebody at a further distance. but the reality is that here we are again with a new wave and people's will power is on the wane. this is just a tremendous amount of stress and things that we normally cope with, like being able to be with people and talk to them, is being compromised by
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this new wave. so that is making it very difficult. these are the kinds of things that create the perfect storm to create more mental health issues. >> and you've previously mentioned that even mental health professionals are feeling a sense of fatigue because their services, as you noted, have been in such high demand over the past two years. i'm curious what you might have experienced then and what trends you're noticing among your colleagues. >> well, i'm definitely -- and i think people are aware of this. health professionals of all kinds who are dealing with the covid are actually overwhelmed, burnt out, and some are thinking about leaving. but certainly, many are struggling with mental health issues. and, you know, i'm a psychiatrist. but mental health professionals, we have brains too and that means we could have mental health issues too. it's extremely stressful because the work doesn't stop coming and because these are real things that we can't point out to
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people, hey, this is just your perception. let's look at this. maybe you're viewing this too negatively. a lot of negative and difficult things are going on. so actually it's been a real onslaught and i would say myself, my colleagues, a lot of us are struggling. it's definitely a very difficult time. >> and it has been so, especially in younger people. the pandemic is having a pronounced effect on the mental health of children, notably, the number of suicide attempts have increased at an alarming rate in young people. we don't know the extent of how this pandemic might effect children until they get older, so what would you tell parents who are worried about the toll that the pandemic is having on their kids right now? >> generally speaking, i would tell people a lot of things, and those are, for children and for adults to implement as many coping strategies as you can at this point in time. there are coping strategies that
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i would consider to be preventive mental health care. so those are regular aerobic exercise three to four times a week. those are utilizing techniques like paced breathing, deep-paced breathing which you can easily look up online. how you do that, how to inhale and exhale, that decreases your anxiety and stress level. you can do it as a family. you can teach your children how to do this. progressive muscle relaxation. another way to de-stress and remove the anxiety from your body. make sure that your children and yourself have people they can talk to about how they're feeling, just being able to emote and connect with someone and be understood is very important in terms of mental health. practices like meditation, mildfulness, there are lots of practices one can incorporate into their day that actually really diminish stress which diminishes anxiety which helps in terms of preventing issues like depression. however, i also think it's important for parents to know
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that if your child is visibly having signs that they are struggling, what are those, maybe they have trouble sleeping, they're expressing a lot of anxiety, starting to withdraw, you're seeing their academic performance go down, if you start to see signs of that, talk to them about it and consider getting therapy. because the fact is, you can use teletherapy, you don't have to expose yourself in terms of covid. it's very available. you can look to apps to do this. you can look to your local community center for referrals. primary care physician for referrals. even if a small number of sessions, eight to ten sessions, can really make a difference for both adults and children. >> thanks, again, to gail for her time. if you or someone you know needs to talk to someone right now, help is available. you can contact the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. still ahead, we will have a
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check of your christmas morning forecast and a navy veteran gets the surprise of a lifetime just in time for the holidays. we'll be right back. ♪ superpowers from a spider bite? i could use some help showing the world how liberty mutual customizes their car insurance so they only pay for what they need. (gasps) ♪ did it work? only pay for what you need ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ spider-man no way home in theaters december 17th
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ experience the power of sanctuary at the lincoln wish list event. welcome back, everyone, to this special christmas morning edition of new day. merry christmas. i'm amara walker. >> and merry christmas, amara, great to be with you.
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i'm boris sanchez. coming up, regina served this country in the military and she continues to be a positive role model making an impact in her local community. now, her community is repaying her just in time for christmas. >> and we'll introduce you to this year's cnn hero of the year. shirley raines, how she plans to continue her important work with the homeless and less fortunate in the year ahead. >> all that and more, but first let's get you caught up on this morning's top story s good morning, and merry christmas to you. i'm jessica dean in washington. for the second year, covid is shaping, even disrupting holiday plans. airlines have canceled hundreds of flights today. delta, united and jetblue all reporting triple-digit cancellation and is the busiest day for air travel still yet to come. the surge in covid cases from the omicron variant is fueling a high demand for testing, but test locations and kits are in
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short supply as people gather for the holidays . the biden administration plans to make 500 million test kits available starting next month. video of the january 6th insurrection from the u.s. capitol hill. >> this is a three hour long video that cnn has to sue to obtain from the justice department and it is the most in-depth look so far that we've seen from this location on the lower west terrace at the capitol. taking a look at this, you can see the battle began to unfold between the rioters and capitol police. this first clip, it shows the crowd making their way towards the tunnel and police blocking the tunnel. what's key here, police succeeded in holding that line until the building was cleared hours later. no rioters made it inside the capitol from this entry point. and we've heard from some officers in the past year, they said they didn't know that the
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capitol had been breached in other spots. they were busy trying to keep these rioters from getting in. soon in another clip, you can see the crowd turn on police. one man at this point even hangs from the top of the tunnel, kicking his legs out from police. and it turns even more confrontational and violent. rioters sprayed cops with pepper spray and started striking them with batons, flagpoles. and police push back again. you can see at one point, the helmet getting knocked off one of the officer's heads. this is a three-hour-long video. it's all taken from surveillance video and that's why there's no sound. but this is video that has just been presented by prosecutors in court. media outlets had to sue to make it public. they've been using this video for the more than 700 people who
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have now been charged, dozens of them appearing in court at one time. back to you. >> thanks so much. and let's get a check of your christmas morning forecast now, metrologist tyler mauldin joining us from the cnn weather center. good morning and merry christmas. >> good morning. merry christmas to you and all of you at home as well. it's not feeling like christmas across the deep southeast where temperatures are going to be 20 to 30 degrees above average this afternoon. temperatures should be in the 50s this time of the year but they'll be in the 70s and 80s later today. that trend continues on into sunday and the beginning of next week as well. so with that kind of heat in place, we are looking at records from the southern plains all the way up into the mid-atlantic. you get into the northeast, a little bit of a different story. we're dealing with temperatures below average here. winter weather advisory in effect as a system approaches. it's going to bring a cold rain to the region, also a little bit of ice as well. we could see about a quarter inch of ice in portions of the northeast and new england too.
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on its heels, another system which will be moving over the northern plains and the great lakes as we get into tomorrow. that is going to give way to about a foot of snow across portions of the dakotas on into minnesota. we're also going to be dealing with not just wind and cold air across the west, but, yes, really heavy snow here as well. we'll be measuring the snow in feet across the mountains out west. lower elevations we'll see a lot of rainfall. about 1 to 3 inches. that's why we have a winter weather alert up for about 30 million people across the country. notice that the sierra nevada could see up to 6 feet. would not be surprised if some areas pick up close to 10 feet. that would be isolated. need the rainfall and snow across the west, even though it will be disrupting travel this weekend as folks start to head back home. but we really need that rain and snow because it is parched out
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the west. >> tyler mauldin for us. thanks so much. pope francis is calling for dialogue in his christmas message from the vatican. he warned about the tendency to withdrawal down a crisis. dialogue is essential. john allen has more. >> reporter: hi, there, jessica, and a very merry christmas to you from the eternal city. yeah, this was very much a covid-scarred pope francis i think we heard from this morning. the pope celebrates his big public mass for christmas the night before on christmas eve. at noon today he delivered his annual message to the city and the world. in it, he stressed his repeated calls for justice and global access to the vaccines, but beyond that, expressed deep aalarm over the social impact of everything that's going on.
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so women trapped am home who are suffering additional abuse, children who are being bullied, elderly people who are isolated, alone and afraid . in response, he called for a culture of dialogue and encounter that is reaching out to meet people and engaging them in dialogue, finding out what's on their hearts and minds and trying to be present to them. so all in all, a very pastoral but very, jessica, very topical message from the pope during this unfortunately covid-encumbered christmas. >> all right, john allen for us. thanks so much. now to an incredible story of a tsa officer saving a baby's life. take a look at this security video from newark airport showing this officer jumping over the conveyer belt to help a 2-month-old boy who was choking. thankfully that little boy is okay. she served as an emt for ten years before joining tsa.
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coming up, you'll meet a navy veteran who just had her entire mortgage paid off. stay with us for the special story. but first, you won't want to miss a new cnn film highlighting the special relationship between james taylor and carol king. here is a quick preview. >> friends, collaborators and legends. their music shaped a generation. they came together for a tour of a lifetime. ♪ and it's too late, baby, now it's too late ♪ >> james taylor. >> his songs were amazing. his voice is amazing and his demeanor. >> announcer: and carol king. >> carol king, one of the greatest songwriters of all time. >> i asked her to be a part of my band. >> 40 years have passed since the first time we've played. >> i love every experience we have had together.
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♪ you just call out my name ♪ ♪ and you know wherever i am ♪ ♪ i'll come running ♪ >> announcer: just call out my name, january 2nd at 9:00 on cnn. grandma, how wide are two reindeer? twenty-seven, twenty-e-eight, twenty-nine... ♪ ♪ we've been waiting all year to come together... it worked! have a happy and safe holiday season from lexus.
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this is your home. this is your family room slash gym. the guest bedroom slash music studio. the daybed slash dog bed. the living room slash yoga shanti slash regional office
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slash classroom. and this is the basement slash panic room. maybe what your family needs is a vacation home slash vacation home. find yours on the vrbo app. ♪ if you smell gas, you're too close. leave the structure, call 911, keep people away, and call pg&e right after so we can both respond out and keep the public safe.
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a few military veterans are spending the holidays enjoying a special gift, a home that is fully paid for. >> regina is a navy veteran honored by the thanks to veterans program. she's still serving her
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community as a volunteer and she includes her three children in the service. she's team mom for her son's football team and was, let's say, surprised with the news after one of their games. >> as you guys know, regina is a veteran. she just got a new house, right? >> yeah. >> how important is this house to you? >> it's very important. >> why? >> because it gives my children a stable place to live. >> how do you feel if i told you veterans united is going to buy your house in full and it's now yours. >> what? whatever. are you serious? oh, my god! >> my goodness. regina, it's emotional for me watching. also joining us is pam swan, vice president for military relations at veterans united home loans.
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welcome to you both. regina, let's start with you. replay that moment for us and what it was like. >> just hearing it gets me emotional every time. it was -- i'm a loss of words still. all i can think about was are they playing with me? is this a joke? and i seen everybody just jumping and when i seen my dad cry, i knew it was real because my dad was there and my daughter was jumping up and down and i'm like, oh, my gosh, this is real. they just paid off my house. no mortgage payment. it was just so many emotions. i was going through so many emotions at the time. even now, listening to it -- >> i can tell it makes you emotional, regina.
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it means a lot for your kids too and the foundation of generational wealth and all the opportunities that come with homeownership. talk to us about how your kids are feeling. do they realize how big a deal this is? >> oh, my daughter, she's 15. she does. but my sons, they are 8 and 9, i don't think they really know. because a couple of days ago they were like, mom, talking about my bills because i always go over bills with them. and, you know, they were like what about the mortgage? so it's like they forget, they know, but they forget. and i'm like, mom don't have a mortgage. so it's -- you know, it's getting -- we're just trying to get used to it. they don't fully understand, but they will when they get older. >> it's just such a beautiful story and moment that we got to
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share with you there on video. pam, can you tell us a little bit more about this program and also how it started? >> absolutely. first, regina, merry christmas to you and your family. you have become part of our family at veterans united. we're excited to see you again today, this christmas and merry christmas to you boris and amara as well. veterans united, we have a lifestyle and business model of enhancing veterans and their families' lives and the communities as well. as we moved into the holiday season, particularly veterans day last month, and thinking about how could we enhance the lives of our veterans and show the enhancement that they give to communities and regina is a prime example of that. and we selected methodically looking at veterans and telling
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the story of how veterans serve after service. so really focusing on those individuals that have given back to their communities and the things that you just saw in the videos and have talked about regina in. she is a prime example of that. people that serve in the military, they have a mind set and a focus to give back and to help others. and they only bring that back into their communities and with the housing market the way it has been through this pandemic, we saw a lot of our clients make offer after offer and be taken -- a seller would take another offer and they would have to go out and look for that search again. and so when we selected those individuals, we kept that in mind and we reserved one sweepstakes that we will be giving away and announcing on new year's eve is the last day that you can register to be the
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11th home recipient, just like regina, and still have that advantage this year. as we look at how 2021 has unfolded in the housing market and be able to affect another life, family and community just like we did with regina. >> pam, you talked about giving back to those who give so much to our nation and helping out these veterans. tell us about some of the recipients and how does someone enter to receive that 11th home? >> absolutely, boris. so the other recipients are across the country and it's exciting to see all of them. we've gotten close to every one of them. i think regina probably has gotten a phone call from somebody at veterans united every few days. she has become family. and the other recipients the same way. so they -- we have former army,
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we have vietnam veteran, we have marines, we have male and female alike service members. again, it's as varied as the military is. so the way that you can be one of these individuals and be the 11th home recipient is go to it's a very easy sweepstakes and try to be that 11th homeowner. but also, even if you're not, get the education, look at the program that's out there and make sure that if you know a veteran, you're telling them to go to this site and maybe change their life forever. and as you said, boris, i think was the generational change. and that's what really a mortgage-free home does for people like regina and the other recipients out there. it is a generational change and encourages all of us to give back more to our communities, whether we're veterans,
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veterans' families or we're just part of our community. let's >> what an incredible organization, pam. thank you for that. and regina, lastly to you, tell us a little bit about how this has changed your life, what kind of freedom it is going to allow you, and how you will be spending your christmas day today. >> the way it has changed my life, my family and i, we're able to give more to the community. my children decided this year to go donate christmas gets to needily children. so that was a blessing. we were able to give more. it is just amazing because we
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have abilities that i didn't have growing up. i'm able to do more in their education and extracurricular activities because of it. so this is a big deal for us in our family. >> and i continuing to help others. you are so inspiring and impressive. congratulations on the home. and pam, thanks for all your hard work helping folks. merry christmas to you both and thang thank you for the time. >> merry christmas. and the best story on christmas day, thank you so much. coming up, we'll introduce you to the 2021 cnn hero of the year. and her inspiring work with california's homeless. fers [bikes passing] [fire truck siren]
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[first responder] onstar, we see them. [onstar advisor] okay. mother and child in vehicle. mother is unable to exit the vehicle. injuries are unknown. [first responder] thank you, onstar. [driver] my son, is he okay? [first responder] your son's fine. [driver] thank you. there was something in the road... [first responder] it's okay. you're safe now.
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. sometimtime for the good st. the hero of the year is
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impressive. kaitlan collins has more. >> the 2021 cnn hero of the year is -- shelly reigns. >> and she runs a nonprofit transporting part of skid row into an outdoor beauty salon. and she is joining me now. and i loved your outfit last night so much. >> oh, he did that, did he not? >> it was the perfect outfit. but obviously there is so much behind this. how did you start this project, what really helped you get this started? >> i think that everybody knows at this point, you know my son passed away many years ago. and i broke emotionally, spiritually, and i have so much pain. later his dad lost the battle with cancer. and i was just trying to make sense of the pain in my life, you know what i mean?
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and through trying to find something to do with that pain, i found the homeless. a friend of mine asked me if i would like to come out with him to feed the home meless one day with another nonprofit and i went out there and i fell in love with the community from day one. i was like y'all aren't broken, you are just like me, let's go, you know? >> and so you are out there, and did you -- did the idea come to you then or how did you get the idea? because there are so many ways to help the homeless, but what made you think that this was something that needed and something that could help them? >> you know, let's be clear, this is what the community wanted from me. i went out there to do just what everybody does when they feed the homeless, give them their needs. they came to me with their wants. they said we love your hair, your lashes, makeup. and i was like i can get you some of this if you want. and it started organically. it was something that they wanted. and i think that the narrative that has been attached to the homeless makes us forget that they still want to feel
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inherently beautiful. so they came to me with this and i was more than happy do it because that is something that i had to offer. >> clearly you have a lot to offer. do you think that to them it is about a sense of dignity? it is not just about meeting their needs of eating and having somewhere to stay and blankets and clothing. but this is a sense of dignity when it comes to a haircut or facial or something. >> i think that it is that and also it is being seen and being touched. you know what i mean? the work that we do, we necessarily touch their hair, we scrub their hair, we put hot water on their hair. so part of thinks it is the entire to feel beautiful, but also the desire to feel seen. for 30 minutes, someone is calling their name, we are catering to them and we're making life about them and i think that they have been neglected so very long that this attention makes them feel good. so i think that it is a double-edged sword. i think that it is also the beauty and as well as just
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feeling good. >> and what is the power of physical touch? of something like that to the people that you meet every day. >> i think that that spiritual cpr. a lot of times we fight to save the body. let's give them food, shelter, clothing. but physical touch is that spiritual cpr that revives the spirit inside that says that someone cares about me, that despite where i am and how i look, people love me and i think that that is something that i wasn't feeling, you know, when i was going through my hard times. and one of the things that helped me was makeup, it was an adult game of made believe, and i feel like that is sometimes what we do with the community, like pretend, you know. nothing wrong with pretending. we do it as kids all the time. >> and as adults maybe. >> yes. >> and when talked about the loss of your son and what this meant for you and where you were when you went out with your friend that day just to feed people and be there for them, what was it like being on that stage last might when you heard anderson and kelly say your
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name? >> it was so surreal, but more than anything, i'm just excited for the community. i'm just a messenger, you know? i work at the pleasure of the homeless. i serve at their pleasure. i'm just a messenger. and it was so amazing to know that the world cares. you know, i think that we feel like they are forgotten community and there are so many amazing people on that stage with me. and the fact that social media and the world chose us, they chose that community -- they didn't choose me. they chose that community, you know what i mean? and that was heartwarming. i can't wait to go back home, i can't wait to tell them that people see them and love them and care about them. >> and so with this, you get $100,000. >> yes, we do. we do. >> to expand your work. yes, your group. so what -- do you have any idea, what are you thinking, what is your vision for what you want to do with this? >> well, i go out on tuesdays and i feed them out of the van and i always wanted like an ice cream truck kind of thing to make it easier. but right now, we're at a time where we're struggling to feed
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them, so that money will go toward food. one thing that i can say for certain, that skid row will be fed for the rest of 2022. i'm a mom, we have to be practical. as much as i'd love to be frivolous, we want to make sure that these people get warm meals every day. and so that hmoney will go towad food and nurturing them and make sure that they survive another year. >> well, congratulations and thank you for your work. >> thank you, queen. appreciate you. good morning, merry christmas and thanks so much for joining me. i'm jessica dean in washington. there is more than holiday cheer spreading this christmas morning. coronavirus cases are rising at a frenzied pace as the omicron variant sweeps across the world. new infections in the u.s. now averaging a shocking 182,000 a day. new york is breaking new


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