tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN January 16, 2022 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
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hi there, and thanks so much for joining me. i'm jessica dean in for fredericka whitfield, and we start this hour with that massive winter storm pummeling much of the eastern united states right now. 80 million people now under winter weather alerts from mississippi all the way to maine. a potentially dangerous mix of snow and freezing rain blanketing major roads, airlines cancelling more than 2,800 flights, and as you can imagine the severe weather also causing some significant flight delays. power now knocked out for more than 278,000 customers across georgia, alabama, tennessee, florida and the carolinas. this storm is moving up the east coast with some cities like washington, d.c. expecting up to four inches of snow and we have team coverage for you tracking all of the winter weather.
we go first to cnn's dianne gallagher who is in charlotte, north carolina. dianne, i know north carolina is seeing some ice. walk us through the situation there right now. >> reporter: jessica, in the mountain area there's some snow, but for the most part in north carolina it's a tale of freezing rain, sleet and that ice on the ground, and that's what makes this so potentially dangerous for the people who live here. talking about the roads at this point. we're seeing a few cars out right now. we want to show you some live footage of our drone that's how the on the highways here on the outside of charlotte, north carolina, in the uptown area, and they have gone through and plowed some of these streets. that's something that the governor has warped is not something that happen quickly across the states saying they are down manpower due to staffing issues. it may take longer to get to the roads to clear them. that's why they are asking people to basically stay off the roads until this system passes.
>> for today, the best way to avoid a car accident or getting stranded is to stay put. fewer people on the road means fewer car crashes. plus it allows highway crews and utility workers to get faster results. if you must travel, reduce your speed, increase your following distance and be sure to clear all the snow and ice off your vehicle before traveling. >> so they are already looking at around 200 or a few more of those car crashes so far in the state of north carolina due to that, but they are also concerned what ice is going to mean for power outages, more than 90,000 report across the state at this point, and the concern is that as we still have this precipitation coming through, there's more expected throughout the day. it's going to refreeze when the temperature drops at night and we're going to see some of the
trees fast. the other issue, jessica, of course, is the flights. charlotte international airport, they are looking hat more than 90% of their flights cancelled today because of weather already. >> wow. quite the impact there. thanks so much, dooifnlt let's go to cnn's nadia romero who is live in buford, georgia. nadia, what are you seeing there in georgia? >> well, jessica, the know is definitely coming down, especially compared to earlier this morning where it was much more of that rain-sleet mix that dianne is seeing now in the carolinas. we're transferred over to actual snow that's accumulating. when people are talking about snow in the metro area, they often talk about january 24 and people call it smokedon. we had almost 100 school buses in fulton county strand on buses and roads because of the conditions. some 2,000 school kids had to spend the night at school and people were stuck wherever they were when that storm came through, so the goal this time around and the year since has been to be better prepared. so the governor here georgia declaring a state of emergency for parts of georgia, the
department of transportation rolling out the brining, starting that on friday. some 20,000 peoples have been pre-treated as of last night, and they tell us they have more than a million gallons of brine available and have about 100,000 tons of salt and gravel. it's all about the roads, so when you see this accumulation, that's what's on top, right? it's the snow, but as we get into the evening hours, when the sun goes down, the temperatures drop. that turns to ice, and so it's already starting to happen in this patio area on the ground here. this is snow that's now ice. this is what you're going to have a hard time seeing tonight for all those drivers, people who are out as that ices over, as we have black ice especially over the bridges. that's where the concern, is so the goal is to get people to stay inside of their homes and we are enjoying a three-day weekend for many people so hopefully that will keep them off of the roads because they don't have to go to the work or school. jessica? >> right. give this ice some time to melt and get out of there.
>> cnn's meteorologist tom seder is also tracking this storm. tom, what are you seeing? >> wedge, you talked about over 200,000 without power. i would not be surprised that you could see 2 million or more, and this is the worst kind of loss of power. if it's due to ice you could be without power for a week or more. this storm came barreling out of canada, 8 to 12 inches of snow. 14 in des moines and snow in memphis to nashville and down to 9 inches in mississippi. and now it's an ice event but the good news is if you look at the major cities, boston you're not in it, but you don't have to go far to the west. philly, yes, there will be big concerns with heavy snow to areas of eastern ohio. we'll get there, up to say cleveland and pittsburgh, buffalo, but coastal emotion to the north. now, severe weather we'll touch on in a minute but it's been an icy mess eaves of nashville. takes a while for the colder temperatures and change the rain
to a sleet and snow mix. this is the problem. notice the rainfall. don't be surprised that you see snow in d.c., philadelphia and new york but it changes the rain quickly. but where the rain is moving up, and it's heavy. that color of purple is not changing. that's significant icing. if you look at already some of the snow totals. these are going to go. several areas will have over a foot. it's the ice. half an inch to an inch accumulation. that will down more than power lines and trees and cause a problem. heavy snow in the appalachian chain, areas of concern, in the cities i've told you about, buffalo and cleveland and mainly rain. coastal flooding will be a big, big problem when you get all the way up into connecticut and rhode island, jessica. >> before i let you go. we've talked about the snow and ice and we also have some video out of florida about a possible tornado tearing through ft. myers, look at that. we're hearing at least 28 homes were destroyed. 200 people have been displaced
and four people injured but thankfully not seriously. we're looking at this damage which seems extensive there. tom, is the threat of more tornadoes over, or can they expect more of that? >> yeah. just about over. if you look at the radar picture. we did have a tornado watch. that's been allowed to expire 3:00 p.m. eastern time. now it's headed towards areas of the bahamas. national weather service out of tampa setting a crew already there. what an amazing video. a lot of people in florida. normal to have tornadoes in january. yes. we're in a la nina year and that can change the pattern to give us a few more but mavis amounts of debris in some of that video, devastation near the ft. myers area and a mobile home area in tropicana. at least it's moving out. all eyes really on a significant icing and keep them in your thoughts and prayers in the piedmont of the carolina and towards virginia. it could be significant.
>> tom seder, nadia row,o and dianne gallagher, thanks to all of you. the fbi has now identified the suspect in the hostage situation in texas. identified as m ha li faisal akram who was killed in an tense 11-hour standoff in the city of colleyville. he entered the beth israel synagogue during saturday morning sabbath services and took the rabbi and thee others hostage as the services were being livestreamed. one hostage was released several hours into the standoff after hours of negotiations. an elite fbi rescue team then breached the synagogue free roog the remaining hostages. president biden today calling the case an act of terror. >> i spoke this morning with the attorney general and got a rundown. he said there was overwhelming
cooperation with the local authorities and the fbi, and they did one hell of a job. this was an act of terror. this was an act of terror. >> and nick paton walsh is live in london for us. we'll get to you, nick, in just a second. we're going to start first with the very latest with ed lavandera who is in colleyville, texas. ed, what more do we know about the suspect and also the motive for taking these hostages? >> reporter: well, right now the law enforcement agents continue to work at the crime scene here at the synagogue which we now have a much clearer vantage point of after this nearly 11-hour hostage situation that unfolded here yesterday afternoon. the four hostages released physically unharmed. we understand that they are spending the day with the family. we heard from the rabbi charlie cytron-walker who says he's been through quite the ordeal. in a facebook post he offered his thanks and appreciation to you will at prayers and vigils for him and the other hostages,
also thanked direct lit law enforcement agents and first responders who saved them and he ended his facebook post by saying i'm grateful we made it out. i'm grateful to be alive so quite the ordeal especially when you consider that the first hour or so of this hostage situation was livestreamed so many of the members of this synagogue who weren't attending services in person because of the covid pandemic were watching this unfold, and this is a little sample of what they were hearing while they were watching from home.
you might have hear him make reference to his sister, not his biological sister but to aafia siddiqui who is imprisoned here in the north texas area, and that's what that is a reference to. >> it is really horrific to listen to. i can't imagine what those people were thinking as they were watching it being life-streamed. ed, what can you tell us about the negotiations? this was some 11 hours this, standoff. what more can you tell us about the negotiations that went through that whole afternoon and evening? >> well, fbi officials say real credit the -- the negotiators who were on the phones speaking with the suspect in prolonging and calming him down. everything we sheard that there was a lot of vacillation in terms of the mood therefore suspect inside of the synagogue.
and fbi officials credit those fbi negotiators for essentially helping save the lives of the four hostages. >> today's result which was four safe hostages and the situation resolved was really a result of a long day of hard work by nearly 200 law enforcement officers from across this region, the fbi's hostage rescue team. i consider one of the crown jufls our organization. their mission is to conduct deliberate hostages negotiations. in this case we had a necessity for that and they were successful. they proud of them. >> and jessica, you know, the bottom line is as law enforcement agents continue to finish up their work at the synagogue, all four hostages, we know the rabbi at home this afternoon with his family spending the day. >> so glad that they can be home with their families and that they are okay. let's go now to nick paton walsh live in london.
nick the suspect was a british citizen. what else do we know? >> yeah. he is known as malik faisal akram. 44 years old from blackburn in the north of england and the greater manchester police from that area confirm his residence in blackburn. also the local muslim community there have on one of their facebook pages posted a statement from his brother which says they are absolutely devastated as a family. as a family they do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologize wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident. they go on to say that faisal, their brother had what they referred to as mental health issues and say they were in contact with the police during the incident, but, of course, investigators here at the fbi matt made early on a part of the global investigation, the fbi saying they were reaching out to
their embassy attaches and in tel aviv and london as well. clearly a strong london part of this investigation, too. they will be looking at his travel history, possibly communications, trying to assess the motivation here. president joe biden saying it's too early to assess why this did happen, but uk foreign second liz truss saying she contemd this act of terror and act of anti-semitism so more details emerging here and the family voicing something which i think many are looking at his behavior. you heard the recording there, the lake of coherence and the fact that the this plot was terrifying and did not appear to be particularly sophisticated. that may lean towards mental health issues and we're looking to see if he was acting alone or part of a broader plot here but information now coming out from the uk where his family say they do not condone anything that he did. >> all right. we'll get more information as this goes. ed lavandera and nick paton walsh, our thanks to both of
you. still to come, ukranian government websites are targeted in a cyber attack and they say preliminary information say hackers linked to russian secret service could be involved. plus, the u.s. is taking additional steps to expand the manufacturing capacity for covid-19 tests. we're going to explain that. my . what about rob's dry cough? works on that too, and lasts 12 hours. 12 hours?! who studies that long? mucinex dm relieves wet and dry coughs. ever wonder what everyone's doing on their phones? they're banking, with bank of america. his girlfriend just caught the bouquet, so he's checking in on that ring fund. that photographer? he's looking for something a little more zen,
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microsoft says it has found malware that could wipe data on multiple computer systems in the ukraine, including government agencies. that discovery follows a major cyber attack last week that targeted dozens of ukrainian government websites. ukraine says preliminary information indicates groups linked to russia may be responsible. the u.s. says it has not assigned blame yet but national security adviser jake sullivan issued a warning to russia today. >> there will be severe economic consequenced and a fries pay and, yes, of course. if it turns out that russia is
pummeling ukraine with cyber attacks and if that continues over the period ahead we will work with our allies on the appropriate response. >> and let's bring in cnn's cyber security reporter seanlsean lingus. great to have you. walk us through the malware that microsoft found and the significance of finding it? >> reporter: well, the malware is capable of destroying data on computers and sort rendering them inopera the, and that's important because that can be very disruptive for organizations that are trying to stay online. obviously during this tense time when russia troops have amassed troops at the border and it's a headache for government agencies in the ukraine and the other thing i would say is this has some similarities to past behavior. while we don't know who did this exactly, the use of destructive malicious code has kind of been
a hallmark of russian operatives in ukraine and has been in recent years. this is the organization and the folks i've talked to there are bracing for potential follow-on attacks. >> we'll have to wait to see what happens next. sean lyngaas, thanks so much for being here. appreciate if the. coming up, the u.s. secretary-general will warn the next few weeks should be tough and that americans should not expect the omicron wave of covid 129 to peak in the coming days. that's ahead. unlike ordinary memory supplements, neuriva plus fuels six key indicators of brain performance. more brain performance? yes, please! neuriva. think bigger. we're carvana, the company who invented car vending machines and buying a car 100% online. now we've created a brand-new way for you to sell your car. whether it's a year old or a few years old. we wanna buy your car. so go to carvana and enter your license plate answer a few questions.
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the biden administration says health insurers must cover the costs of at-home covid tests. that announcement comes at a time when the omicron variant is surging and tests can be hard to come by. here's cnn health reporter jacqueline howard. >> this is happening right now. most americans with health insurance can now walk into a pharmacy, store or go online and get at-home covid-19 tests for free through their insurance, so here's how this works. depending on your plan you can get an over-the-counter at-home test at no cost up front or you may get reimbursed for a test. you may have to submit your receipt to the enscheurer to get that imburstment. remember to save the receipts and the other thing some insurers may set up a preferred network of pharmacy, stores or online vendors where you can get your free tests. if you purchase the test outside the network insurers must
reimburse up to 12 hours per test and for those who don't have health insurance the biden administration says it's launching a website on january 19th where any american can request a free at-home test. the administration says that it's limiting orders to four rapid tests per household and of course with the ongoing spread of the omicron variant increasing testing has been a major focus of the white house. back to you. >> jacqueline howard, thanks for the details. u.s. surgeon general mur thy warned the weeks ahead will be tough as the omicron variant continues to spread as there are communities disproportionately affected by the variant. doctor, thanks for being here.
>> thank you. >> what do you think the number one priority should be for the biden white house when it comes to covid. >> wow, that's a loaded question, but i think the important one is to really make the messaging, improve the messaging. you know, i've said -- and that's for the public, although it disproportionately impacts underresourced communities so this idea that people switch their minds a lot, that the government is giving mixed messages is not true. this is what i would tell the biden administration in terms of messaging. it is like a tornado or a tsunami where we cannot predict its course. it changes its course, you know, its nature. virus is nature, and to stay tuned for updates. we will bring you updates on that rapidly developing story, so i think it's about trust. it's about clarity and the information. i think sometimes there is an
overthinking of how the messaging is going to be. just speak in plain english so that everybody can understand. >> and that it is a unified message and that people get the same message over and over again. >> all right. earlier this week we also heard from both vice president kamala harris and senator bernie sanders on n-95 masks availability. these are the masks that all the experts are saying real the best ones right now. take a listen to what they had to say. >> in terms of the n-35 masks, they are available. there is a stockpile of i believe over 700 million of those masks, so the supply is there as necessary and as needed. >> the people for whatever reason don't want to wear an n-59 mask, fine. then wear something else, but the simple fact is that a whole lot of people don't know that an n-95 mask is far superior and more effective in protecting the individual and in spreading the
virus than a common mask so we've got to get that word out. we've got to educated. >> doctor, first of all, do you think the price point and accessibility make upgrading to a better mask up realistic for tom families? do you think that's a barrier? and i'm also curious do you think their tone is surprising at all in the sense that do you think we still have to be educating people, or do you think people know that n-95 is what you should be wearing? >> oh, look, we still have to ted kate people. i'm the founding director of the rodham institute dedicated to health equity in d.c. we distributed 560,000 masks and hand sanitizers to the poor areas of d.c., and that was several months ago, almost a year ago now. education is the key to really defeating this virus but availability or access versus availability are not necessarily the same thing. remember, that people have competing priorities. if you do not make it easy for people to get these masks, it
will be just one more thing on their to-do list. if you've got multi-generational households where you have to take care of people, you've got to go to work, you've got to fill out insurance information, we have to make this available but also to really engage those community-based organizations that know the community best to have them be the ones to education and reichard out. let's not forgot vaccines. you know, i've got 61 patients of mine in the last three weeks who came down with covid. none of them got hospitalized except one person who declined the vaccine, so it's -- you know, we can walk and chew gum at the same time. it's this and that, right? >> right. right, and i know tomorrow blackdoctors.org and your rodham institute are hosting the state of black health virtual summit. what are your hopes for that event as it relates to the health of the black community, and what challenges is the black community facing in particular in this ban democratic? we know that think
disproportionately that that community is disproportionately at risk for a worse outcome. talk us through that. >> sure. well, of course, it is mlk's birthday, and if we remember what the dr. reverend martin luther king jr. said, of all the forms of inequity, health inequity is really the worst. it's the cruellest, right? so i actually pitched the idea to our partner bdo which has 20 million domestic followers to 100 million international, and we're part of the black coalition against covid, and i said, know. what of course, covid is disproportionately affecting the black community but every other underer is served, historically underserved community, but people, first of all, are sick of koenchesd and as a general internist i can tell you breast cancer, colon cancer, other diseases are not going away, and actually the mental health toll is really disproportionally
impacting communities of color. did you know that among teens and youth suicides have skyrocketed among black and brown kids? so we have to, of course, tackle covid. that's the most immediate killer. however, we have to remind people about all those other illnesses that prior to covid and sadly after covid will still disproportionally impact communities of color, specifically the african american community but really all communities that are underresourced. >> right. it's about getting all the screenings done and making sure your mental health is strong. good luck tomorrow, doctor. thanks so much for being with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. i answer questions about my goals and the foods i love. i like that the ww personalpoints plan is built just for me. download the ww app today for a 14-day free trial. nicorette knows, quitting smoking is freaking hard. you get advice like:
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have this capacity to deal with assault on particularly the anti-semitism that has grown up, and i'll be talking with -- i put a call in to the rabbi. we missed one another on the way up here, and -- but they should rest assured that we are focused. we are focused. the attorney general is focused in making sure that we keel with these kinds of acts. >> my next guest anna salton eisen is a founding member of that colleyville, texas sin doing. she's also the author of the book "pillar of salt, a daughter's life in the shadow of the holocaust." anna, thank you so much for joining us, and before we even start i just want to extend our condolences for what you and other members of your synagogue with experiencing right now, and we are so, so sorry. i'm so sorry that you all are having to walk this path. and we appreciate you taking some time to talk with us in light of all of this. i first just want to know if you've had a chance to speak with anyone involved in the incident or any of your fellow
members of the congregation. >> yes. thank you for having me. yes, i've been in touch with fellow fe fellow congegants and others and i got a text yesterday that our rabbi is being held hostage. i was on the live feed for several hours, and when that was cut off we stayed in constant contact, into the any of us really knew anything. we were waiting to find out and for everything to be peacefully resolved, but, you know, we needed to support each other. it was a very difficulty and frantic day for all of us. >> i'm sure it was, and i'm sure you're still a lot of you are in shock, even now one day later and maybe for several days. you're also a licensed social worker and a formerly practiced as a therapist specializing in mental health and trauma so you understand a lot of this so
much. walk us through your thoughts on this trauma and what it may be like for the four people taken hostage and also from people like you, from people who had to watch this on the livestream. >> yeah. i mean, i hithink it affects us all of us differently. the hostages and families need more time to recover but we have to keep in-minute members of the congregation who might feel more vulnerable as well as the children who have to go back into their classrooms and maybe deal with fears that they haven't experienced before. so i think for all of us, the first thing is regaining some sense of safety, and i will say that people have asked me, you know, now that this has occurred do you feel safe in your town? and i would say surprisingly i feel more safe than i ever expected. the response from our neighbors, communities, from law
enforcement, from churches, from mosques, was so overwhelming and intense and immediate that i really feel like if we have to face a crisis, that people will have our back. good people, and that is really, you know, an important lesson. i think once we feel safe and we have to go through the processing which is not just talking about and sharing what happened but how we felt, and then the third phase is just to go ahead and reengage in the world with this now being part of our history and part of our identity, but i think that we are a resilient congregation, and i think that especially that we had a miraculous and wonderful outcome. going forward is different than it might be if things had not ended so well. >> right. >> and it really sounds like what you're saying is that this outpouring of support, that this together necessary really -- you feel like it's a garret against,
you know, just feeling so, you know -- it's really going to be essentially a foundation for you is probably the word i'm looking for as you begin to heal. >> i mean, i'll share that my mother who is living with us is going to be 100 years old on saturday, and she is a holocaust survivor, and going in to tell her what was happening was very difficult for me, and i saw her -- her fear, flashes of memory. some tearfulness, and it was hard because, you know, one doesn't think that these things will happen in this day and age or in your town, but also we felt such tremendous support and reassured that law enforcement was there, communities were there. the churches were praying for us and then, of course, you know, we were overjoyed that everybody was released and safe and all the way up from the governor of
texas to the president that people cared, and to hear the chief of police say that he is a close and personal friend of the rabe just really hit home that, you know, we are welcome and a part of this community and even though anti-semitism may be increasing and may be present, so is the remedy. so is the unity and the strength and the resolve to overcome these issues in our country. >> wow. >> well, we are sending lots of love to you and good luck on this journey, and i'm glad you all have each other and feel that support. anna salton eisen, thanks so much. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. ! print! do you suffer from cartridge conniptions? be conniption-free, thanks to the cartridge-free epson ecotank printer. a ridiculous amount of ink! do i look like a money tree? the epson ecotank. just fill & chill. ♪ ♪making your way in the world today♪ ♪takes everything you've got♪ ♪
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this information just into cnn. the names of eight men allegedly connected to jeffrey epstein and his sex trafficking scandal could soon be made public. ghislaine maxwell, who's been found guilty of helping epstein traffic young girls, settled a lawsuit filed by virginia giuffre who claims epstein abused her when she was a minor. the names of the other men were sealed as part of the lawsuit's settlement. giuffre is asking the court to unseal the documents, and in a court filing this week, maxwell's lawyers dropped their objections to releasing the names. that means it's now up to the court to decide. movie star, blonde bombshell, cultural icon now see marilyn monroe through a more modern, feminist lens. ♪
>> i went to 20th century fox where ben was head of casting and they said who is this girl? >> in walked the most gorgeous young girl, 20 years old. and i said what's your ambition? and she said, to be a film star. >> and then they made a color test, which was unusual, but i think they had high hopes for me. >> she was to come in, walk across the room, sit down and light a cigarette, and smile. as soon as that camera started rolling, something magical happened. she has this kind of fresh-faced beauty and this kind of luminous prettiness on the screen. >> she could manifest the kind of magic. she came into the world with it. >> and joining us now is alicia malone. we just saw her in the clip there. she's also a host at turner
classic movies and appears in this new series "marilyn monroe." we hear the name marilyn monroe, and i think so many people instantly get this image of blonde bombshell, sex object, "happy birthday mr. president. >> they're missing her drive and ambition. she wanted to be a movie star, she set out to be one, and it took many, many years for that to happen. she had several different studio contracts. she had to convince the executives that she had what it took to be a star. but the creation of marilyn monroe itself was completely her own. so, yes, she was this blonde bombshell, but it was a blonde bombshell of her own making and it was highly successful. >> she was much more in control of the whole thing than perhaps were led to believe. >> absolutely. most stars at the time were given a persona and given a
makeover such as rita hayworth, who was margarita cansino. and she was change neighborhood this american icon. for marilyn, she came in ready, she knew who exactly she wanted to be. she modelled herself from other blonde actresses from the 1930s that she loved, and it really was this whole drive that made this whole thing happen. >> thank you so much for your insight. we're looking forward to this new series. thanks so much. >> thank you. >> and you can be sure to tune into the all-new cnn original series "reframed marilyn monroe." it premieres with back-to-back episodes tonight at 9:00 p.m. only on cnn. and it's already been a wildcard weekend in the nfl with a controversial call leading to a victory decades in the making. cnn's coy wire has those details. >> yeah, a painful loss for the las vegas raiders. their last win was 1991.
that's before we had text messaging. controversy just before half time, burrows scrambling and he finds tyler boyd wide open. you'll see the raiders stop, they say they heard the whistle. they're arguing the catch. the head of officiating said the whistle came after the catch. here it is. listen for yourself. [ whistle ] wow. the play is not reviewable. so touchdown stands and those seven points could've been the difference. fourth quarterfinal seconds, raiders needing a touchdown instead of a field goal to tie it. cincinnati holds on 26-19. just listen to the love from the fans. [ fans chanting ] >> now, while the bengals celebrate in advance to the next round, there's also the agony and defeat for the raiders. this season is over after a controversial play call.
>> everything is just frustrating right now. i didn't expect it to go this way. i didn't feel like it was going to go this way at any point in the game up until the last couple seconds. >> their last playoff win was 2003, and after the jon gruden drama this season, they were the first team in 60 seasons to make it to the playoffs after a mid-season coaching change. but now they're going to be watching the playoffs from home just like all of us. jessica? >> oof what, a game. coy wire, thanks so much. i'm jessica dean in today for fredricka whitfield. thanks so much for being with us. "cnn newsroom" continues now with jim acosta, after the break. (vo) this year, t-mobile for business is here to help you hit the ground running. when you switch to t-mobile and bring your own device,
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-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com ♪ you are live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm jim acosta in washington, and we begin with 80 million americans under winter weather alerts right now as a powerful storm pummels the southeast with freezing rain, ice, snow, and wind. power has been knocked out for nearly 300,000 customers in states including georgia, the carolinas, and virginia, which have all declared a state of emergency. weather delays are also unfolding on the roads and in the skies more than 2,800 flights are canceled today. there's plenty more snow still on the way as the storm shifts up t