tv CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell CBS November 29, 2021 6:30pm-7:00pm PST
cbsn patriots. you can find it on the kpix news app, and the cbs evening news is coming up next. >> book here at 7:00 captioning sponsored by cbs captioning sponsored by cbs >> o'donnell: tonight: what we know and don't know about the new coronavirus variant omicron, as america braces for its first case of the covid strain. tonight, a "cbs news" exclusive. we go inside one of the labs where omicron was discovered by south african scientists. what we're learning, is it more deadly and will we know if our vaccines protect against the variant? plus the breaking news, the c.d.c. strengthens recommendations for the booster shot. what you should know. president biden urges calm. >> this variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic. >> o'donnell: what he's saying tonight about the possibility of new lockdowns. breaking news, tiger woods in an interview tonight revealing if he'll ever play professional golf again, just days after posting a video hitting a golf
ball a few months after that horrific crash. cybermonday: have you done your online shopping? which products have the biggest discounts today, as americans are expected to spend at least $10.2 billion. sex trafficking trial, the woman accused of recruiting underage girls for sex offender jeffrey epstein faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted. remembering lee elder, the golf great who broke down racial barriers as the first black goll barriers as to play at the masters. and a heart warming story about the world's most premature baby who survived and thrived -- tonight, his story of strength. ♪ ♪ ♪ this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. >> o'donnell: good evening, to our viewers in the west and thank you so much for joining us. we're going to begin with that new covid variant that the world
health organization poses a very high risk around the globe. the omicron strain hasn't turned up in the u.s. but dr. anthony fauci warns it's likely already circulating here in america, and that has the biden administration responding. the new omicron variant was first discovered earlier this moth in south africa. it has since spread to more than a dozen countries around the world, and as a precaution, the u.s. joined other nations restricting travel from south africa and other countries in the region. the president saying today there's no need for lockdowns now, or drastic measures, which had wall street breathing a sigh of relief. after the dow had its first down day on saturday, it rebounded by 200 points today. fed chair jerome powell said the variant could negatively impact the economy. errol barnett will lead us off from newark international airport. good evening, errol. >> reporter: good evening, norah.
tonight the c.d.c. is strengthening its recommendation that all adults who received either the pfizer or moderna vaccine should get their booster shots so long as it's been six months since the last shot. previously, they recommended younger adults may get their boosters. also tonight "the post" reports pfizer is ready to recommended 16 and 17-year-olds get their boosters and it expects that to be approved quickly. calling omicron a "variant of concern," the world health organization says it has the potential to pose a very high global risk as it is loaded with more mutations than delta. first identified last week in south africa, it's not yet clea whether omicron spreads more easily or causes more severe today, president biden said it today, president biden said it is inevitable that the omicronpl variant will reach the u.s. and pledged to fight it with science and speed, while appealing for calm. >> this variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic. if people are vaccinated and wear their masks, there's no need for lockdown.
>> reporter: with more than 100 cases documented in south africa, new travel restrictions are in effect tonight barring non-u.s. residents from eight southern african nations from entering the country. dr. anthony fauci is the nation's top infectious disease expert. >> if it's not here already it's going to get here. the reason you do a travel ban is, not that you think naïvely that you're going to keep it out, but it buys you a couple of weeks because if you can keep things out in force for a couple of weeks, you can do a lot of things. >> reporter: moderna c.e.o. stephane bancel says it may be weeks before clarity on its vaccine as ability to fight the new variant. still, booster shots on all vaccines are recommended.mo >> as we see the new situation with the variant it's more important to not only get the primary series but make sure you have your booster. >> reporter: travel restrictions for the vaccination have been
lifted but some countries are reversing including japan, travelers. >> i have been planning this trip for about two years. >> reporter: as news of the new variant surfaced in south africa, miljana vujosevic is enjoying her last days in capetown before returning home friday. >> i will exhale-- when i get my negative covid test friday morning because that will feel like that's an important milestone and i will exhale again when i'm at the airport. >> reporter: so much is still unknown about omicron, it is clear the new covid variant is spreading around the world quickly. while the u.s. races to limit some foreign nationals from traveling here, the best defense is to get as many people vaccinated as possible. >> o'donnell: errol barnett, thank you very much.
we turn to a cbs news exclusive. we go inside one of the labs in south africa, where omicron was first discovered, and researchers are now working around the clock to learn more about it.ebrtom durbin, south africa. >> reporter: suiting up in protective gear, scientists are heading into the biohazard lab of the africa health research institute. here, they are growing live omicron to be tested against the blood of fully immunized people as well as those previously infected. heading up the team is alex sigal. >> this is probably the most mutated virus we'd ever seen. >> reporter: the variant has more than 50 mutations is over 30 in the spike protein, the part of the virus that aids infection. >> it's more of a frankenstein than others but it's always something new. the virus keeps surprising us. >> within 36 hours of discovering the new variant,istt these scientists had alerted the world the fear that the variant evades immunity. bancel's team is speaking with
other scientists. some of these samples are packed to be shipped to other research institutes in the country. etheexisng vacs canstop omi.ys stephane thinks they will provide some protections. the virus will continue to mutate. >> we will continue to learn the rest of the greek alphabet unless we understand why the variants evolve, how they evolve and be able to predict them. >> reporter: omicron has mainly infected young people here. doctors say their symptoms are mild but that could change as case numbers increase. norah. >> o'donnell: debora patta, thank you. there are still a lot of questions tonight about the omicron variant. joining us to answer some of the questions, dr. ashish jha, the dean of the brown university
school of public health. doctor, thank you so much for joining us. is omicron as dangerous as delta? >> well, we don't know, and there are two parts of dangerous i always think about, one is does it spread more easily and infect more people, that makes it dangerous. there is some evidence it seems to be spreading more easily. the second is does it cause more severe disease? that we don't have any data on at all. >> o'donnell: scientists are calling this the frankenstein of all variants? is that misleading or overly alarmist? >> i think it's a little alarmist. it does have a lot of mutations. number of mutations isn't the big issue. the big question in our minds is the going to make our vaccines less effective, more dangerous. we don't know now, there are concerning features of this variant that have many of us looking more carefully, but i think there's no reason for people to overreact and feel somehow this is a game changer. it may very well not be. >> o'donnell: what if we find out our vaccines we currently have are only 50% effective,
what happens then? >> that is a good question. a possibility we could see a hit to the effectiveness of the vaccines. the other part of the question will be what about severe illness and people with breakthrough infections and are they getting significantly sick, if not, i think we're in good shape. i do think we will need to build a variant-specific vaccine, a vaccine against this variant. >> o'donnell: what additional measures should we take heading into the holiday season? >> the single biggest thing is people need to be vaccinated. with this highly contagious variant it is dangerous to not be vaccinated. if you are vaccinated but not boosted, there's plenty of reason to think boosted people will do better. other than that, we don't need to do anything else significant. to do anything else significant. continue to wear a mask in crowded indoor settings, avoiding large crowds. these are good pieces of advicee in this pandemic altogether.lt
i don't think that changes for this specific variant. >> o'donnell: dr. jha, it seems like every time we're rounding the corner on covid 19, something else pops up or a new variant pops up. what do you say to americans who say are we back to square one? >> no, we are not back to square one. we are in a very different position than where we were in march of 2020. even if our vaccines take a hit, they will not be totally ineffective. we have great tests that cant. identify this variant. we've got therapies now. we also know how the virus spreads and we have lots of tools for preventing spread. so we're in a much, much better place, not where i'd like to be. i'd like for this pandemic to be behind us, but that's not what we have as an option, but, we are in a much better place than where we were. >> o'donnell: dr. jha, thank you so much for your time and expertise. >> thank you. >> o'donnell: we want to turn to the holiday shopping season off to a strong start, though not quite at pre-pandemic levels. about 63 million americans were
expected to make purchases online today, cybermonday. here's cbs' meg oliver. >> i'm buying everything today. >> reporter: realitier kristinia sledge have been cashing in on deals all day long. >> i just saved $196 on two ralph lauren coats and an espresso machine. >> reporter: today is expected to be the best online shopping day of the year with americans predicted to spend between $10 and $11 billion. that could come in slightly less than last year. hw many boxes are going out today? today? >> we anticipate about a million boxes will go out today from this facility. >> reporter: at this amazon fulfillment center in new jersey, more than 14 miles of conveyor belts passed along some of the first packages for cybermonday. >> it's mesmerizing. it's a well orchestrated logistical ballet.uraging >> reporter: retailers have been encouraging shoppers to buy early, with the global supply
chain crunch translating into hi pces anwer opti >> this is her -- >> reporter: stephanie valesquez found free dog treats for her new puppy, shyla. >> i said, oh, my god this is perfect. dog treats, 90 of them, free, just had to paid for shipping. this is great. >> reporter: shop today is the best day for buying tvs online. shoppers can score big on clothes, computer and appliances. for computers, wednesday have the bigger discounts.ng do how much more shopping do you plan to do? >> till the deal is over to probably till midnight tonight. >> reporter: did you boss let you go home early to start doing this? >> yes, she did, shout out to diane. >> reporter: and some important >> reporter: and some important dates to dates to remember for fed ex and the u.s. postal service, december 15 is the last day to ship gifts for amazon packages, december 22 to make sure your gifts arrive on time. >> o'donnell: good info, meg
oliver, thank you. opening statements started today in the sex trafficking trial of ghislaine maxwell, the british socialite, charged with recruiting girls and women for long time friend convicted sex offender jeffrey epstein who died by suicide in jail. >> reporter: prosecutors portrayed ghislaine maxwell as a sexual predator who enticed teenage girls by befriending them and serving them up to jeffrey epstein to be sexually abused. the prosecutor said in at least one instance they were each more than double the age of their victim. the government alleges maxwell, now 59, assisted, facilitated and contributed to crimes by epstein by helping him recruit, groom and abuse girls as young as 14. today in court, the prosecutor charged that maxwell traded on t the trust she earned from the girls, even being in the room when epstein abused them, but bm
defense attorney bobbi sternheim question that, telling the jury maxwell is a convenient stand i. for the man who can not be here. epstein died in august 2019, while waiting trial in what officially has been ruled as a suicide. maxwell had been in federal custody since june 2020, not far from the federal prison in manhattan where epstein was found hanging in his cell. >> there are six counts in the indictment, the most severe which is sexual traffic of minors. if ghislaine maxwell is convicted of that count, she may spend the rest of her life in prison. >> reporter: maxwell's trial is expected to last through the holidays and it's unclear if she'll take the stand in her defense, possibly portraying herself as a victim of epstein's as well. >> o'donnell: mola lenghi, thank you very much. tonight the breaking news, tiger woods is admitting he will never
play golf full time ever again. in a new interview woods opens up about his recovery from the devastating car crash nine months ago. here's cbs' carter evans. >> i don't have to compete to have a great life. >> reporter: tonight for the first time, tiger woods is publicly acknowledging a stark reality. >> i could-- still maybe-- if my leg gets good enough, maybe kick off a tournament here or there. but as far as climbing the mountain to get all the way to the top, i don't think that's a realistic expectation. i think something that's realistic is playing the tour again some day, never an entire one again. >> reporter: after the car accident woods said he thought he might lose his right leg. he was seen working on his swing. he is recovering from multiple back and knee injuries but says this time is different. >> i don't have the same endurance in my right leg yet. i am still developing that. it will take time and more work.
it's an unfortunate reality but it's my reality. i understand it and i accept it. >> reporter: carter evans, cbs news, los angeles. >> o'donnell: today, we learned lee elder, one of the golf legends who inspired tiger woods has died. elder made history in 1975 as the first black golfer to play in the masters. this year, elder served as an honorary starter at the masters. his health didn't allow him to tee off, but he called it one of the most emotional experiences of his life. lee elder was 87 years old. and still ahead right here on tonight's "cbs evening news," a major player in social media calls it quits, and the white house decks the halls. he halls. it's the faster way to clean as you go. just spray, wipe and rinse. it cleans grease five times faster. dawn powerwash now available in free & clear.
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what makes salonpas arthritis gel so good for arthritis pain? because better protection costs a whole lot less. salonpas contains the most prescribed topical pain relief ingredient. it's clinically proven, reduces inflammation and comes in original prescription strength. salonpas. it's good medicine. >> o'donnell: the social media and business world was rocked today by the surprise resignation of jack dorsey as c.e.o. of twitter. dorsey said it was his decisionn to step down from the social media platform he co-founded more than 15 years ago. he's being replaced by parag agarwal who has been with twitter for a decade and has been involved in the fight against its misinformation. the white house is decked out. red gift boxes frame the east wing to have the executive mansion. 41 christmas trees at the white house along with 10,000 ornaments. the theme for this year's decorations is gifts from the heart, inspired by people the
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we are professional grade. gmc >> o'donnell: now a story about a tiny but tough fighter. when curtis means was born, his chances of surviving were almost zero. against all odds, he's now an energetic toddler. here's cbs's omar villafranca. >> reporter: when curtis means was born, the tiny bundle of joy arrived early, 21 weeks, one day. just 11 inches long, he weight less than a pound. the newborn and his twin had less than a 1% chance of survival. what's going through your mind? >> i just had to keep faith and keep on praying. >> reporter: one day later his sister c'asya passed away. curtis was so fragile he spent
nine months in the i.c.u.. he spend more time in the i.c.u. than he did with you. >> mm-hmm. >> reporter: and his mother my shell had to wait weeks to hold him. what did it feel like to finally be able to hold your son after one month? >> i actually started crying. >> reporter: curtis defied the odds with help of miracle worker dr. brian sims. when did you know that he was ai little fighter? >> first breath. it was an amazing transition watching him get stronger and stronger and then the attitude he had from day one, he really was a character. >> reporter: at 16 months, curtis is happy, healthy and a guinness world record holder, not for just being adorable but as the most premature baby to ever survive. >> my baby boy, my miracle baby. >> reporter: proving again big things really do come in small g things really do come in small packages. omar packages. >> o omar villafranca, cbs news, birmingham, alabama. >> o'donnell: what incredible doctors and nurses.
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(lightning strikes) we took the truck that helped build this country. and made it so it can power our homes. we took the vehicles businesses use to keep the lights on. and made them run on the same thing that turns the lights on. we took the original zero-to-sixty head turner. and gave it zero tailpipe emissions. we took the familiar. and made it revolutionary. >> o'donnell: on tomorrow's "cbs evening news," cou >> o'donnell: on tomorrow's "cbs evening news," could you kids be buying drugs on snapchat, tiktok or instagram? the deadly consequences of illegal drug sales on social media and how easy it is to find them online. if you can't watch us live, set your d.v.r. so you can watch us later. that's tonight's "cbs evening news," i'm norah o'donnell here in our nation's capitol. we'll see you tomorrow. good night. cbs captioned by captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org