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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  January 23, 2022 1:00am-2:00am PST

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and a warm welcome to our viewers here in the united states and right around the world. i'm paula newton. ahead right here on "cnn newsroom," putin's ukraine ploy. britain claims the kremlin is screaming to install a pro-russian puppet to lead ukraine. we're live in kiev with the latest. plus -- taking to the streets. protesters marching in paris and
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elsewhere against strict vaccine rules. and he was spinning records in a nightclub just four years ago. now this alpine skier from jamaica is looking to make history at the winter olympics. so with russia's military looming over ukraine from multiple directions now, the british foreign office claims to have information about an alleged plot by the kremlin to install a puppet leader in kiev. now, the foreign office goes on to name a number of former ukrainian officials, allegedly in contact with russian intelligence. now, a source tells cnn that u.s. intelligence does, in fact, have the same information as the uk. the kremlin angrily dismissed the plot accusation as misinformation and demanded the uk, quote, stop engaging in
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provocations. we want to go straight to our cnn chief international correspondent, clarissa ward. she is on the ground there in kiev for us now. and, you know, clarissa, we just read the statement, right, from russia, calling this a provocation. and it was difficult, actually, to ascertain what the motive was in releasing this information, whether credible or not, right? now what purpose could it possibly serve, especially given the biden administration says diplomacy is still where it's at. >> yeah. i mean, i think there's a lot of confusion about this. not that people find the idea implausible. that the kremlin would be seeking to use its pawns to try to increase its influence in the ukrainian political system. but more a question of, this intelligence new or old? and what's the information behind it? because there's so little detail given in that statement from the foreign office. we also saw foreign secretary
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liz truss. she tweeted, simply, we will not tolerate a kremlin plot to install pro-russian leadership in ukraine. but the question really, paula, is even if there was a kremlin plot to try to install p pro-kremlin leadership here in ukraine, how would that work? how would they actually successfully seek to install a pro-kremlin leadership here? this is a democratic country with elections. would this happen in the context of an invasion? we simply don't have many answers. but at the same time as i said before, it's certainly not, you know -- it doesn't seem far-fetched at all to believe that russia would be seeking to increase its leverage in the political system here. we know, of course, as well, that the u.s. treasury sanction, several individuals just earlier this week saying that they were involved in pro-russian efforts at the behest of russia's security services to try to destabilize the ukrainian
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political system and one of the people on those sanctions is also mentioned in this foreign office statement, as well. there does certainly seem to be some agreement between the u.s. and the uk about russian efforts to destabilize ukraine, politically. >> yeah, it does follow a certain script. a script that we've seen before to ask you. you have a lot of experience in the region, you have been on the ground now for a few days. do ukrainians feel like de-escalation is now really a remote possibility? does it feel like a country getting ready for war? >> reporter: i would say right now, it does not feel like a country getting ready for war. it feels like a country that has lived for eight years now with the ever-present threat of war. and so there's no question that people are concerned, that people are deeply skeptical, of whether russia is entering into these continued diplomatic efforts in a spirit of good faith or whether, as one ukrainian official put it to cnn, they're potentially using this as a delay tactic, while
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they continue to prepare, sort of a potential military invasion incursion. nobody quite knows what shape this thing might take. but i would say more broadly that there has been an effort on the part of the ukrainian leadership to try to calm people down here. to try to play down the threat of russian military aggression. and that may be in part because ultimately, ukraine feels like it's in quite a weak position here. it's not directly involved at the negotiating table. it's also, while it's receiving military support from the u.s. and the uk and the baltic states, it's clear that it would be very difficult for ukraine to repel a serious and sustained invasion from one of the world's most sophisticated militaries. so for a number of reasons, i think ukraine feels itself to be in a vulnerable position, and therefore, is really trying to project a sort of image of calm
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strength during what can only be described as a very difficult time. >> yeah, absolutely. especially for the younger generation there. as you point out, you know, they've, been at this for severl years now and to a certain extent, it's all they've known as far as when they've come of age. before i let you go, clarissa, in terms of what's possible here, in terms of de-escalation, we saw the meeting in geneva, is there a possibility that strategically, something can still be forged between the u.s., nato, and russia to really come to some kind of an agreement that's meaningful for all sides? >> reporter: it's really difficult to see what that agreement could be. and what the concession would be, coming from the u.s. side. because russia has, you know, made its demands. the u.s. has really dismissed several of them as non-starters. and russia has shown no signs of backing down from those demands.
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so even though the diplomatic process lives on and i think it's significant though those talks in geneva between secretary of state anthony blinken and his russian counterpart, sergey lavrov, did not result in a dead end, but rather, what blinken called, quote, a clearer path ahead, that is significant. that should not be downplayed. but what ultimately that clearer path looks like in terms of a potential resolution is really, i would say, very unclear at this stage. it's hard to imagine how president vladimir putin finds an off-ramp, a way to de-escalate, whereby he does not lose face. yeah, i just can't think what it would be, but the fact that it is not yet a dead end means that there must be some hope from both sides or certainly, at least, from the u.s. side, that there is the possibility, still, of some kind of diplomatic solution. >> yeah, and still talking, they are. clarissa ward for us, live in kiev, really appreciate it.
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now, the revelation of the alleged plot that clarissa was just talking about to install a pro-russian leader in kiev elicited this response from the u.s. national security council. quote, this type of plotting is deeply concerning. the ukrainian people have the sovereign right to determine their own future and we stand with our democratically elected partners in ukraine. now, the unfolding crisis has also spurred rare bipartisan agreement on capitol hill. take a listen. >> we have seen massive amounts of tanks, planes, and ships moving from east-to-west to the ukrainian border. and it's not just the numbers, it's the types of troops. many of them are from his reserves and national guard, which are primarily intended for occupation duty. so i do think this invasion is imminent. >> i think we're going to have a pretty good sense of which way this is going to go. is it conflict that putin chooses? and then if he does, how many body bags does he want to count going back to russia, of
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russia's sons? >> now, while the biden white house is still banking on diplomacy with moscow, the u.s. military is making alternate plans, just in case that talking doesn't work, right? for that, here's cnn's barbara starr for the pentagon. >> the defense department now working on a series of military options, detailing what it would do if russian troops were to cross the border and stage an invasion of ukraine. diplomacy, obviously, still front and center, sanctions, still very much the first thing the u.s. might turn to. but the pentagon has options for president biden to consider to beef up the u.s. presence in eastern europe, to reassure allies there who are so concerned about what putin might be up to. think romania, poland, the countries that are nervous right now. so what's on the table? the u.s. could move some troops and equipment that are already in europe.
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it could also move troops and equipment from the u.s. or outside of europe on to the continent. all of this to give the allies reassurance and a deterrence capability against russia. the pentagon always likes to say, it plans for everything. and this is one case when it is already doing just that, just in case. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. covid cases in some parts of the united states do seem to be leveling off. hospitalizations in the northeast, see it there, are now down by about 11% after reaching a peak about a week ago. now, the midwest is also seeing a slight drop, about 6%. and new hospital admissions are beginning to decline nationwide. a sign total hospitalizations may soon begin going down. but take a look at this. in north carolina, arkansas, and west virginia, both cases and hospitalizations, unfortunately, are headed up. fda officials are considering
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limiting the authorization of some monoclonal antibody treatments. a source says evidence suggests that treatments from eli lilly and regeneron don't effectively neutralize the omicron variant. and finally, you are looking right now at live pictures of the capitol building if washington, d.c. now, just in the coming hours here, thousands of anti-vaccine activists will be marching at the "defeat the mandates" rally. now, in china, it recorded some 56 new covid cases saturday, 19 were locally transmitted and 37 came from overseas. now, this comes less than two weeks before the start of those all-important winter olympic games. thousands of protesters, meantime, marched in paris on saturday to voice their anger at the vaccine pass. the vaccine pass now required by law. anyone over 16 may now show proof of vaccination in order to access most public venues. and across the channel in london, some national health service staffers demonstrated against a vaccine mandate. now, they must be vaccinated by
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april 1st and submit proof in order to remain employed. for more on this now, i'm joined by journalist al goodman. he joins me live from madrid. good to see you on all of this, al. let's go to spain, first. it's still seeing a high number of infections, despite this, it would like to try to start easing restrictions. maybe even treat covid the way that we would normally have treated the flu in prior years. how are spaniards reacting to all of this. >> reporter: hi, paula. the spanish prime minister is in a group of political leaders and some medical experts who are now talking about a need for a new strategy to not treat the coronavirus as a pandemic, with emergency measures all over the world and restrictions, but getting to a new phase where it would be endemic, like the annual flu. the annual flu shot you get. he's saying, very pointedly, it would not happen immediately. but it would be possible, when more people are vaccinated. the portuguese president has also talked about that.
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for these two countries on the iberian peninsula, portugal with about a 90% overall vaccination rate, spain with 90% of their 12-year-olds and over vaccinated, it's a little bit easier for them to talk about it. but the world health expert -- the world health organization experts is some medical experts here in spain as well are saying, wait, slow down. too quickly on this. the vaccination rates are not high enough in so many other countries, in many parts of africa, and other parts of the world, that this is an idea worth considering. but it should not be implemented anytime soon. paula? >> and the problem there is that infection continue to rise and there is still the danger of new variants. you know, as omicron continues to punish europe, though, and as we mentioned, the cases are high in places like france, as well. and countries still, though, continue to want to move towards that easing of restrictions. how does that square, especially with the protests that we just saw in europe? >> reporter: well, the protests are clearly against the vaccine
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mandates that you're seeing in some places, the vaccine passport, like you just mentioned in france. france is doing some of both. they're doing some more restrictions and also doing some easing. so this vaccine passport for 16-year-olds and over, to do a lot of things in everyday life goes into effect tomorrow. to get into a restaurant or bar, you need proof of vaccination. not just a negative test to get on a long-distance train as well. but at the same time, the french prime minister announcing they're going to allow in february allow full capacity at stadiums and indoor arenas and cultural events. people may be masked there. and encouraging people to go back to their regular physical workplace. not their home. in ireland, restrictions were eased. bars and restaurants are back to their normal operating hours. they were shut down to 8:00 in december due to the spike in cases. now that's been backed off. the officials there also talking about a phased return to work. and one more example, austria going for the european union's first vaccine mandate. everyone 18 and older starting
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in february will need to be vaccinated. this is aimed at getting the group of people in austria, who have not been vaccinated get them to be vaccinated. germany next door has looked at this. the germany health minister says, good idea. german lawmakers are expected to consider something like this. the new german chancellor is listening to calls to a vaccine mandate there. so for the people in the streets that have been protesting, you're getting some easing, some restrictions. these people who are out there don't like any of this in terms of restrictions. they just want to get back to the pre-pandemic days. paula? >> quite a collection of policies there, throughout europe. and we'll continue to track that. al goodman in madrid, thank you for that. coming up right here for us on "cnn newsroom," parts of southeast asia are still bracing for the worst of the coronavirus wave. plus, britain's prime minister in peril. boris johnson is facing the fight of his political life as we await a key report on the so-called partygate scandal gripping downing street.
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growing concerns to resign amid allegations his staff held a series of parties during strict covid lockdowns. now, the government is expected to release the findings of an internal investigation into those claims next week. meantime, johnson is also fending off accusations by some members of his own party that downing street tried to intimidate them into staying silent amid the scandal. for more on all of this, we're joined by cnn's nadia bashir. she is in london for us. good morning to you. boris johnson, we've heard this before, he's down but he is not out, at least not yet. what can we expect this week as this inquiry into the party wraps up? >> reporter: paula, this could certainly be a decisive week for the prime minister as leader of the conservative party as that confidence in him drops. we do expect to have the findings of that intel increasing the social gatherings and parties reported to have taken place within downing
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street and across other government department buildings during times that the country where either under lockdown or facing strict restrictions on social gatherings. as you can imagine, this has already been difficult for so many in the public to hear after being separated from loved ones during this period, so to see the government themselves taking part in these parties and gatherings has led to a major drop in confidence. boris johnson directly implicated in this, seen in the downing street gardens taking part in a drinks gathering. he said he wasn't warned in advance that this was a party, as such. he thought it was a work meeting, but that has been difficult for many to believe, including his own lawmakers within the conservative party. now, this investigation is an internal investigation, not an independent inquiry. it's being led by civil servant sue gray. she is looking at the nature of the parties and who attended. she will be looking at that. not necessarily highlighting
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whether or not the prime minister was in breach of covid regulations, but if any wrongdoing found in terms of breaching those restrictions and regulations, we can expect to see mounting pressure, not only from the british public, but from one his own party. paula? >> and that's the issue, right? it is his own party who will make the decision for him. has he been able to firm up support among conservative mps? >> there is certainly growing attention within the party. we've already seen one lawmaker leave the party and go to the opposition labor party. we heard from senior politician david davis from the conservative party, openly calling for the prime minister to stand down. and now on top of all of that, we're hearing allegations of intimidation within the party. some lawmakers from within the conservative party apparently face intimidation, threats that they could lose funding for their local inconstituencies if they didn't back the prime minister. the mp, who is leading these claims, william rag, saying that
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some of these accounts amount to intimidation and blackmail, even. so serious allegations there. the prime minister and his government say that they don't evidence for these claims, but if they are proven true, of course, they will take these very seriously. but of course, there is that growing tension there from within the party. and if these breach of covid regulations do come to light, as a result of this investigation, we can expect to see even further pressure coming from the party against the prime minister and his role as the leadership of the conservative party. >> yeah, and interviews still ongoing for that inquiry. we'll hopefully learn more in the coming days. nadia bashir for us in london. thank you. now a new wave of omicron outbreaks is putting a crimp in jacinda ardern's wedding plans. she's been planning to marry her longtime partner sometime soon, but it's not clear what their wedding date actually was.
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they have one child together. but as ardern herself has said, such is life. >> my wedding will not be going ahead, but i just joined many other new zealanders who have had an experience like that as a result of the pandemic. and to nanyone who's caught up n that scenario, i am so sorry, but we are all so resilient. and i know we understand that we're doing this for one another. >> as for the pandemic, health authorities have reported new nine omicron cases in a single family household. the country is now on red light. it is its highest response setting. now, while some parts of the world are showing signs that the latest covid-19 wave might soon subside, in southeast asia, that's simply not the case, and the worst still might be yet to come. cnn's michael holmes has more now. >> reporter: in india, cont -controlled kashmir, workers are
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hiking snow-covered hills with soldiers in tow. they're traveling far and wide, door-to-door, to inoculate individuals who otherwise wouldn't have access to vaccinations. as covid cases rise, fueled by the fast-spreading omicron variant, some experts say it will take weeks to see the severity of the latest wave. >> reporter: but persistent efforts from the health care community is taking some stress off the locals. >> reporter: the medical team hiked here under heavy snow and today, i received my first dose of the covid-19 vaccine. i'm very happy that they helped us in getting vaccinated. >> reporter: one local governing body also employing postal services to deliver covid medical kits to people's doorsteps. in neighboring nepal, a shortage of health care workers is hurting the nation, rising new cases have put health care and frontline workers at risk and hundreds of medical professionals are out sick, after catching covid. >> more than hundreds of health care workers are getting
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infected. so once they have to go for isolations, we will not be having a good amount of health care workers to take care of the patients. >> reporter: meanwhile, pakistan recorded its highest ever number of new cases. big cities like karachi are reporting the bulk thof those cases, but even so, some people are flouting covid-19 restrictions. with fear mounting, sales of self-testing kits are on the rise in india. a leading local producer of home test kits, my lab discovery solutions, is now ramping up production from 200,000 kits a day to 2 million. >> the pace of cases has increased so fast that you're seeing test positivities in the big cities in india. typically somewhere between 20 and 30%, depending on the city. it's an obvious indication that we're not counting cases accurately. and we're somewhat far away from understanding the true measure of covid-19 in india currently. >> reporter: michael holmes, cnn.
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and a warm welcome back to our viewers here in the united states. i'm paula newton and you are watching "cnn newsroom." now, the british foreign office says that it has information indicating an alleged plot by the kremlin to install a pro-russian leader in ukraine. a source tells cnn that u.s. intelligence, in fact, has the same information. now, the foreign office goes on to name a number of former ukrainian officials allegedly in contact with russian intelligence.
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the kremlin angrily dismissed the allegation as misinformation and a provocation, but there's no sign that some 100,000 russian forces are backing away from the ukrainian border in what the west fears is, in fact, a prelude to another invasion. joining me now is the director of the carnegie moscow center. and it's good to see you again, dmitry. what do you make of the uk's statement here? and even if it is true, what purpose does it serve, releasing this information so publicly in this way? >> well, i have no way of knowing whether this is true or false pimd expect russia to be falling very closely, but actively engaged, where what's happening within ukraine. that's what you would expect russia to do with a country as important as ukraine is to russia. but as far as this piece of
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information is concerned, really, i don't think there's anyone who would publicly comment on that. people who know probably don't speak about these things. people who speak probably don't know. >> it is an old adage, but likely still a wise one. and we appreciate that. you know, i have to say weeks ago, you said russia's demands were, in fact, an openinged bid something to be negotiated on. and you say russia might accept a deal where nato eases military activity on russia's borders, all the way from the baltic to the black sea. would you still advise the u.s. and nato to accept such a compromise if, indeed, it's even possible anymore? >> well, i'm in an advisory capacity to the united states to nato, i did say that i believe that russian demands are, on the one hand, russian objectives,
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foreign policy objectives. on the other hand, i think that there is room for let's say, accommodation, compromise, mostly on the format of any agreements to be reached, rather than on the substance of those agreements. i think that for the russian leadership, ukraine in nato or nato in ukraine is totally unacceptable. and there's little compromise on the russian side that i can see. but on the format of the agreement -- on the actual details of what may be agreed, i think that there is some room for discussion, negotiations, and eventually compromise. >> so you still think it's possible? >> well, let's say this. i don't think that war is inevitable. i don't think that negotiations are doomed. but i do not rule out any of the
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worst scenarios that have been discussed. well, i wouldn't say any, but let's say, i do not rule out the use of force under certain circumstances. for example, russia has been on record saying that should there be a push into dombas from kiev's side, there will be a push back by the russians. and i don't see how this would not be the case should this happen. i understand this is not a likely scenario as seen from the west, but that's one of the scenarios i have to consider. >> and you mentioned the perspective of the west there. i want to get to the perspective in ukraine right now. you know, president zelensky is not exactly the most popular. he has proven to be a bit volatile. he has made some tactical mistakes. how do you think he, his politics, his cabinet, will factor into all of this?
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>> well, i think that's a problem. the problem for russia is actually that the president of ukraine is not strong enough to deal with russia. mr. putin, soon after zelensky's election to the presidency, expressed his openness to personal engagement with zelensky. the two presidential offices in moscow and kiev were working hard in late 2019 to reach some sort of a platform for discussions and eventual accommodation in the framework of the minsk accords. and then, a very powerful and very influential group of ukrainians who believe that the minsk agreement is high treason actually blocked that on the ukrainian side. and president zelensky has gone
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back from his early, let's say, indications of willingness to compromise to implement his part of minsk and he's, in fact, taken a very tough stance on relations with russia. that's where we are. it's unfortunate that we don't have, in kiev, a strong leader who is confident enough to deal with mr. putin in the kremlin. yeah, and before this, his popularity was sliding. i will note, as well, that you point out that europe is supposed to be really one of the stakeholders in those minsk accords wand they've certainly fallen apart, to date. i have to leave it there, but appreciate your insights. >> thank you very much. at least 83 people were killed on friday's air strike on a detention center in yemen according to an international charity group. save the children tells cnn that more than 100 others were injured in the facility in northern yemen. the iran-backed houthi rebels blamed the saudi-led coalition for that attack.
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but its spokesperson tells saudi straight news that those claims are, quote, baseless and unfounded. the air strikes also hit a telecommunications center in western yemen, causing a nationwide internet blackout. north korea has started testing missiles at an alarming rate over the past few weeks. on thursday, pyongyang also said it would reconsider the moratorium on long-range and nuclear missile tests. as cnn's ivan watson reports, the situation is causing renewed concerns right across the reg region. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: patriotic declarations on north korean state television, announcements of fresh missile launches. north korea has launched a salvo of six ballistic missiles in less than two weeks. on january 5th, what pyongyang calls a hypersonic missile. another hypersonic missile on january 11th. two ballistic missiles fired from a train on january 14th and
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two tactical guided missiles fired early monday morning. weapons tests that appear to be part of a plan laid out by north korean leader kim jong-un more than a year ago. >> fundamentally, kim jong-un has basically ordered his people to make the type of weapons that he thinks will make north korea become a very advanced nuclear power. >> reporter: weapons experts say some of this month's launches didn't break any new ground. but north korea also fired this new hypersonic missile, which it first revealed to the public last year, and the south korean military confirmed it flew at ten times the speed of sound. >> what north korea is calling a hypersonic missile is really a ballistic missile at the base, when it launches, and then on the top, it has a maneuverable warhead, which means it can move in a way that is unexpected. >> reporter: this type of missile poses a new potential threat to the u.s. and its
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allies in asia. >> they are able to launch a missile in one direction and essentially turn a corner, which makes it very difficult for radar systems and interceptors to track it. >> reporter: the latest missile launch is a reminder of the flurry of missile tests north korea conducted back in 2017. they sparked a war of words between pyongyang and then president donald trump. >> rocketman should have been handled a long time ago. >> reporter: eventually, trump and kim staged three historic face-to-face meetings and a lot of letter writing. >> we've had, what, you know, during trump administration, by my count, 27 letters exchanged between kim jong-un and donald trump. kim jong-un, you know, wants that kind of attention. >> reporter: former u.s. diplomat joseph yun advises the
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biden administration to try harder to engage with the north korean regime. >> otherwise, we're going to return to the bad old days of 2017, which is really a crisis atmosphere. >> reporter: so far, pyongyang has rejected multiple u.s. requests for talks. in the meantime, the biden administration imposed sanction for the first time last week in response to north korean missile launches, targeting north korean and russian nationals, as well as a russian company accused of helping pyongyang's weapons program. north korea accused washington of gangster-like logic, and launched two missiles the very same day. clearly, the north korean government does not want to be ignored. ivan watson, cnn, hong kong. still ahead here on "cnn newsroom," winter weather warnings in place for millions of americans in the southern u.s. the latest forecast, coming up.
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new satellite images are showing the sheer force of a recent volcano eruption and tsunami in tonga. now, take a look at the before and after pictures. they show lush, green lands becoming, in fact, a sea of gray. gosh, that's just so shocking. the eruption sent volcanic ash raining down on the island nation and massive tsunami waves that plowed into the coastline. when it comes to recovery, a top lawmaker says tongans will have to be in it for the long haul. >> tonga's recovery from this disaster is going to be long-term. and i think we need to ensure that we keep the momentum up. after tonga has got enough water, we're going to have to rebuild and it's going to be a long road to recovery. >> on saturday, japan became the latest nation to send aid to tonga.
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a military plane delivered three tons of drinking water and other supplies. yep, winter is alive and well in beijing. less than two weeks away from the olympic games. you can see the snow falling, thank goodness, and lining the ski slopes here at the olympic village. and in the united states, though, meantime, more than 3 million people are under hard freeze warnings. that's even across the south. this was the scene saturday in virginia beach, where more than 4 inches of snow fell across the area. joining me now is meteorologist derek van dam. good to see you, derek. okay, it's january. it's winter. but what we say about extreme low temperatures, how extreme are they? >> extreme enough that the citrus industry in florida is concerned. and they should be, because we have hard freeze warnings and watches stretching across the central portion of the florida pi peninsula, as far south as
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orlando and as north as tampa. this is something we don't see all the time. look down to the gulf coast region, hard freeze warnings. baton rouge, we have warnings for the new orleans area, where temperatures are just flirting with that freezing mark. this is behind an arctic cold air mass that has settled in across the eastern half of the country. cold front moved through yesterday. and that produced a significant round of freezing rain to places like richlands, north carolina. look at this. we had half an inch of freezing rain. this is what this looks like, on the ground. you can see that glazing. and in fact, some of the national weather service meteorologists that tweeted this photo said that they could actually hear some of the tree limbs cracking under the wind and the accumulated ice that formed within this area. just incredible. low temperatures here are well below freezing. so the precipitation that fell yesterday is still on the ground in the frozen form. so black ice is a concern this morning, through about the 10:00 a.m. hour before temperatures start to rise above freezing. you can see the east coast.
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we will see from raleigh to wilmington, temperatures ranging from 46 to 48 degrees. that's what we want to see. we want to see that mercury thermometer climb above 32 today. we need a bit of relief from the freezing rain that fell yesterday. a weak clipper system moving through chicago. that could create some delays this morning. we have winter weather advisories for that region, through the great lakes. and that's going to help kick in the snow machine, right, across downwind from lake erie, lake ontario, that's the lake-effect snow machine. we'll see a few inches of snow there for cleveland, all the way to cincinnati, and the windy city. the bigger picture here, the good news is that into southern california, the winds are starting to relax this morning in and around ventura county, into los angeles county. a cold front will bring another reinforcing shot of cold air to the eastern half of the country. and that's right, paula, you said it best when you tossed it to me. it is winter, it is cold, but no one wants to see below-freezing temperatures, especially in florida. >> no. and i have a healthy respect for that ice.
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no one wants to see that, either. derek, thank you so much. in less than two weeks, countries around the world will be cheering on their athletes in the winter olympics. and jamaica, yes, jamaica has a lot to look forward to. we'll get to know the first alpine skier representing that nation. that's ahead. olay body wash hydrates to improve skin 3x better, from dry and dull to firm and radiant. with olay body, i feel fearless in my skin. on fanduel sportsbook, new customers can bet 30-to-1 odds on any team in the playoffs. ♪ ♪ so you can make every catch... ♪ ♪ feel like the catch of a lifetime. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ new customers can make every moment more during the nfl playoffs with 30-to-1 odds on any team to win their playoff game. bet $5 to win $150. only on fanduel, america's number one sportsbook.
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las vegas is hosting some sad adele fans who traveled this weekend to see her now postpone residency. she gave fans a tearful apology saying her show isn't ready, because so many crew members got covid. but she also gave some fans, just a few of them, a much-needed boost friday when she called to say, hello, it's m me. >> it's okay! it's okay! >> adele still looking emotional
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there. one lucky fan says adele saw his social media post, complaining about the cancellation. he got a private message directing him to a pop-up shop where he and a handful of other fans got, you see it there, a face time call from the grammy award winning singer. now, fox said his experience was transformed from the worst ever trip, right, to, of course, the best. adele says her postponed shows will, of course, be rescheduled at later dates. now, in less than two weeks, some of the world's greatest athletes will compete in the beijing winter olympics. among those competing is the very first alpine skier representing jamaica. the retired dj says he hopes he can inspire a new generation of olympians from his home country. cnn's patrick oppmann caught up with him. >> reporter: it was only six years ago that benjamin alexander first strapped on a pair of ski boots. the former dj was invited to
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play music on a ski trip in canada. after watching skiers glide down the slopes, he knew what he had to do next. >> i decided there and then that i wanted to join them. i wouldn't come back on this annual trip as just a dj ever again. i wanted to come back as a skier. so long story short, i had my first ever lesson on the mountain in february of 2016. >> reporter: fast forward to today. alexander is now the first alpine skier from jake to qualify in an olympic winter games. born in britain, he's now realizing a dream of his caribbean roots. >> realizing the powerhouse of the summer games, jamaica only had three athletes that year, i thought maybe there's a chance. and so here we are now, chatting about going to the olympics, which is kind of nuts. >> reporter: alexander's path to success was swift, but not easy. he says that he had limited financing. no full-time coach, and missed long chunks of training due to
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the coronavirus pandemic. but he persevered, drawing inspiration from an iconic jamaica bobsled team, who rose to international fame. >> feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it's bobsled time! cool runnings! >> reporter: their unlikely story became the peace of the '90s movie, "cool runnings," about four bobsledders from the caribbean island competing in the winter olympics. >> i have to say, i wouldn't be sitting here right now if it wasn't for that movie and if it wasn't for the crazy exploits of that team in 1988. so i hope that my story actually served as a continuation of that. >> reporter: now, alexander is being mentored by one of the former bobsledders. >> we speak on a weekly basis and really just as a sounding board, trying to ask me the right questions about what he was doing. and of course, navigating this very difficult curveball of
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covid. >> reporter: alexander expects to arrive in beijing early next month. before his competition begins on february 13th. >> i think more skiers are really excited to see a jamaica skier. and obviously, after the events that happened in 2020, i think a lot has changed. people are now excited to see diversity, whereas perhaps they might not have been as open and as warm to the suggestion. >> in beijing, alexander says he hopes to inspire a new generation of winter olympians from jamaica, leaping barriers and snowbanks, all at one time. patrick oppmann, cnn. >> "cool runnings," still having an impact on jamaica today. it's nice to see that. i'm paula newton here at cnn center. it to thank you for your company. stay where you are. i'll with back in just a moment with more "cnn newsroom." why burn a candle when you can switch to air wick essential mist? it's the modern way to transform fragrance infused with natural essential oils into a mist.
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hello, a warm welcome to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm paula newton, coming up on "cnn newsroom," the uk government allegations, putin plotting to install a puppet government in ukraine. our chief international correspondent clarissa ward is in kiev with the latest. plus, as tensions with russia and ukraine escalate, we'll look at what the impact could be to the oil and gas industry if there's an invasion. and while omicron is declining in some parts of the united states, an infectious disease specialist tells me that we have a long way to go to make the world safe again

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