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tv   CBS Overnight News  CBS  January 3, 2022 3:30am-4:00am PST

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this is the "cbs overnight news." good evening, and thanks for joining us. and happy new year. as the long-holiday weekend wraps up, some travelers are literally at a standstill. more than 2,400 flights have been cancelled today alone. that's according to flight aware -- a website that tracks air travel. on the ground, it's not much better with severe weather adding to the travel woes. cbs's tom wait is in los angeles with the very latest. tom, it really looks like there are two major factors at play here. >> reporter: good evening to you, jericka. that's right. omicron and storms. they are making it a struggle
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for millions of americans to get home. drivers are delayed, and flyers are frustrated on this record-travel day. the rush to return home is turning into a day of disruptions. americans are facing full freeways and jam-packed airports with bad weather and omicron-fueled staff shortages giving travelers a holiday headache. >> sat on the tarmac for an hour and a half. >> reporter: holiday-air travel is up 184% from 2020. this as flight delays and cancellations pile up across the country. at chicago's mid way international airport, winter weather forced more than half of flights to be scrapped. how long do you think it will take the airlines to rebound from the delays and cancellations over the holidays? >> well, that is a tough call. it really kind of depends on how they can work through their staffing and also with the weather. it is really taking a hard hit on the airlines. we hope we can get through it in the week or two but it is going to take some time i think. >> reporter: jeff spring of aaa says holiday-road travel is also
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at near pre-pandemic levels from 2020, it jumped 28%. even as packed roads and dangerous, wet and icy conditions slow many down. >> are people hitting the roads like you expected them to? >> one of the busiest travel holidays on -- on record. nationwide, not just hitting the roads but all over different kinds of travel formats and that's the most in nearly 20 years since aaa started doing this tracking. eporter: those record breaking travel numbers are streg ny aricans tryg las year kind of eerie. so i like to see the people. this is a lot of people. >> reporter: and experts say pandemic fatigue is one reason why so many people are hitting the road. but omicron could change those numbers in the coming days and weeks. jericka. >> all right thank you, tom. a federal judge has ruled that president biden cannot require teachers and federal head start early education programs to be vaccinated
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against covid. the ruling is considered a victory for the 24 states that sued the biden administration. meanwhile, the surge in the omicron variant of the coronavirus shows no signs of slowing down. the average number of new daily cases is more than 386,000. hospitalizations are, also, rising but slowly. cbs's mark strassman has more. >> reporter: a new year in our covid chronicles welcomed by maskless floridians with this superspreader's jamboree. risky behavior, even reckless. like many new year's resolutions, covid records get broken daily. >> the speed at which omicron is spreading is staggering. >> reporter: take these jarring u.s. numbers. a new average of 356,000 new cases a day. that's four more cases every second. on thursday, 16 states reported their highest total, ever. >> the numbers we are seeing, put that mask on and keep it on through january at least
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honestly. >> reporter: more ominously, those numbers could be fractional. driving this epidemic, people who are undiagnosed, either asymptomatic, or mildly symptomatic but untested. >> this place is so busy. it's so packed. we have patients coming in all the time. >> reporter: more worry spots. hospitals. overwhelmed by sick patients and sck staff. >> majority of these people are not vaccinated. i can't get 'em out of the fricking waiting room. i can't get the sick people out of the waiting room to get 'em away from these people with covid. >> reporter: on covid's front lines, the pentagon has sent enforcements into hospitals in wisconsin, montana, and michigan. many doctors say avoid going to the er, often a covid hotbed, especially for children. >> if you are going to have people getting together and you have children that are unvaccinated, they will be the bull's-eye for, you know, for omicron. >> reporter: across covid america last week, almost 400 children a day were hospitalized for the virus.
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that's a 66% increase from the week before. >> probably seeing four to five times the number of children who are currently in my icu. >> reporter: here in georgia, testing shows the positivity rate now pushes 40%. it's so high, atlanta public schools just decided to hold virtual classes this week when the kids come back on tuesday. jericka? >> mark, thank you. many schools are scheduled t resume classes tomorrow after the holiday break. but the spike in covid cases among children has some teachers and parents questioning what to do next. cbs's tom hanson has that part of the story tonight from new york. tom, good evening. >> reporter: hey there, jericka. good evening to you. the rush is on to get students and faculty tested before heading back to the classroom. here in new york, more than 5 million covid tests have been distributed to public schools, like this one, and as many as 8 million more are on the way. as millions of kids head back to class tomorrow, the new year is
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bringing a new uncertainty. parents spending hours in line for testing, often confused about school guidance and protocols that vary district to district, and even school to school. many worry their kids are at risk. >> they got to use the same bathroom. you know, the same lunchroom. so, you still exposing back everybody to covid. >> reporter: more than 2,000 k through 12 schools have already closed or will offer remote learning. but most of america's major school systems will resume this week by teaching in person while they can. >> if the teachers we have are coming down with the virus, who's gonna teach the students? >> reporter: in this covid-crash course, testing is key. dr. matthew harris is a physician at northwell health in new hyde park, new york. >> we are seeing a scre to geid tes ands t sttsnd facultyad vaation rams t addo l.ihi test
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>> reporter: schools in seattle and washington, d.c. have extended their winter breaks, using the time to distribute thousands of rapid tests to students and faculty. baltimore will provide on-site pcr tests to schools with outbreaks. and california will provide one to two tests per student ahead of tomorrow's re-opening. now, other schools are hunkering down as the omicron wave sweeps across the country. more than eight school districts in new jersey are going remote, and atlanta schools are doing the same. jericka, experts predict that the wave will peak around mid-january. >> wow, tom, all of it is such a risk which is what makes it so difficult for parents. thank you. the tampa bay buccaneers have dismissed wide receiver antonio brown after a strange incident. in the middle of a game with the jets today, brown took off his jersey and equipment and left the field shirtless as he waved good-bye to fans. brown was playing with --
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this is the "cbs overnight news." i'm jericka duncan in new york. thanks so much for staying with us. 2022 was ushering in a host of new laws, most of them are local. but some affect all of us. for instance, the federal no surprises act. it requires insurance companies to actually cover out-of-pocket medical expenses that can crop up, especially in emergencies. in washington, d.c., gas-powered leaf blowers have been outlawed. in texas, it's now illegal to chain up a dog. and if you like cocktails, like myself, to go, well you can get them in oregon. there are dozens more laws and here to break them down is
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christina ruffini. >> reporter: from marijuana to minimum wage, states across the country are ringing in 2022 with new laws the nation's capitol will join 15 states where recreational pot is legal. you can get high in big sky or buy grass in the garden state. and new york will become the second-largest state, after california, where it is legal to light up. and while the federal minimum wage has stayed stuck at $7.25 an hour since 2009, 25 states will be upping theirs in the next year with most topping $10 an hour. in california, pigs will get better pens and chickens will be able to spread their wings with tough new welfare regulations for farm animals in the state. washington state and delaware will restrict single-use plastic, including bags and take-out utensils. connecticut will allow granny pods or garage apartments to be rented out in residential areas and single-family homes.
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>> thank you, guys, for supporting me. >> reporter: and in illinois, haley martinez inspired a new law that will allow kids under 16 to run a lemonade stand without a permit after hers was shut down by the health department. city leaders gave her a new, better lemonade stand now that her pours are all above board. christina ruffini, washington. thursday will mark one year since the storming of the capitol. major garrett has a look back at the day, the response, and the questions concerning what comes next. >> it's also clear that we have won georgia. >> reporter: one year ago today, president trump set in motion his most brazen effort to overturn election defeat. >> i just want to find 11,780 votes which is one more than we have. >> reporter: in a recorded phone call, he told georgia's republican secretary of state brad raffensperger he could face unspecified criminal charges. >> that's a criminal offense.
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>> reporter: if he did not bend. >> that is a big risk to you. >> you can dig all you want, mr. president. we have the facts. and i'm -- and i'm sorry you lost. >> reporter: did it shock you? >> i was going to make sure we followed the law and we followed the constitution. and i wasn't going to be swayed, pushed, or deviating from that. >> reporter: raffensperger coun turbulent months after the 2020 election in his new book "integrity counts." distributed by a division of viacom's cbs. raffensperger was dogged by accusations that he helped steal the election from mr. trump. he faced death threats. his wife was threatened with sexual violence. raffensperger, a lifelong republican and conservative who voted for mr. trump, felt hunted by fellow republicans. what's it been like? >> you watch yourself, watch your back and you start looking for people's tells. >> what is that?
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>> is there anything inside their hip? things like that. >> reporter: raffensperger also got a dog. is it a guard dog? >> no. >> okay. >> but he's a -- an awareness dog. >> they steal and rape and rob. >> reporter: baseless allegations of fraud in georgia and other states amplified by mr. trump -- >> this election was stolen from you, from me, and from the country. >> reporter: fueled the violent capitol siege. >> they were misled, they were deceived. they were given falsehoods about the results of the election. >> reporter: those falsehoods were on display in full color in maricopa county, arizona, where the gop-controlled state senate sponsored a so-called election audit last may. it concluded mr. biden actually won with more votes than originally indicated. >> i pledge allegiance -- >> reporter: a summer symposium on 2020 election fraud conducted by the ceo of mypillow yielded no evidence. even so, 2021 saw 19 states --
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most led by republicans -- tighten election laws. one irony of all this? the conservative-leaning heritage foundation found four of the states president trump most vociferously contested had some of the nation's most secure voting procedures. helen butler is serd on the board of >> if you reconstitute the board with a lot of members that are made up by one political party and the political line that party is that you have to change the outcome of the election to keep someone in power. this is the way to do it. >> reporter: meaning, as the old saying goes, it doesn't matter as much who votes, it matters more who counts. >> i see it as we didn't get it done this time. but next time, i'm gonna get it
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done because i have total control of the election process. >> reporter: threats of violence still stalk americans who did nothing more than count ballots. one of them is tom, director of elections in bucks county, pennsylvania. >> angry calls, threats. what kind of things are we talking about? >> we received one e-mail that said that we would all hang for treason. >> reporter: bucks county is a swing county in a swing state. mr. trump won pennsylvania by 44,000 votes in 2016. he lost by nearly twice that many in 2020. >> going to be high-speed scanners over here. we have ten of them. >> reporter: we met frytag in september 2020 when he was working round the clock to build a vote counting facility from scratch. all, to comply with staggering new demand for voting by mail. tom, i love what you have done with the place. >> thanks, it's a lot different than the last time you were here. >> how did it all play out? >> we were all nervous going into it. overall, i think it went really
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smoothly with the hand we were dealt. >> reporter: and yet, the threats and bullying continued for a full year. are you frustrated so much that you might quit? >> there's been days where i wonder why i am still doing tis. i don't think i have gotten to the point where i want to quit just yet but there's been days where i really don't want to come into work. >> this is not something i have seen in the history of this country except for before the civil war. >> reporter: bob harvey is an elected county commissioner in bucks county. we asked about january 6th. >> if you wanted to destroy democracy, the first thing you do is turn members of that country against each other and the second thing you do is to get people to start doubting the validity of the elections. >> reporter: doubts. they circulate the country as a contagion of conspiracies. >> if you count the lawful votes, trump won wisconsin. >> reporter: wisconsin among a hotbed of hard-fought and very close elections, is in the throws of a secretive republican-led investigation into voter fraud in 2020. >> i am a republican.
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we can't continue to beat a dead horse. we need to move on. >> reporter: state senator kathy bernier, a former election administrator herself, is a loud trump supporter and among the most conservative voices in the legislature. >> were there voter fraud cases? yes, there were and they are being investigated now. but there was not organized, widespread voter fraud in the state of wisconsin that anyone has provided proof of. >> reporter: the man leading the effort to find it -- republican state assembly speaker robin vauss declined our interview request for this story. for some pro-trump republicans, contesting or denying the 2020 result is no different than democrats refusing to accept mr. trump's election. >> there has been no collusion. >> reporter: no less harmful, they would say, than persistent allegations of russian collusion. >> there is no collusion. >> reporter: bernier accepts biden as president but -- >> the democrats are just as
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guilty as the republicans for perpetuating misinformation or outright lies. >> reporter: secretary of state raffensperger, in general, agrees. >> the stolen election claims, what they do is undermine voters' confidence in the election process. >> reporter: he is more focused now on his next election. a gop referendum of sorts on election denialism. his opponent? congressman jody heiss. >> the election conducted on november 3rd was fwaulty and fraudulent. >> reporter: objected to certifying georgia's election results. >> how do you feel about this coming up the primary? >> well, see, i can stand on the truth. what is he going to stand on? >> reporter: heiss declined our repeated requests to speak with him. >> i think at some point, people have to face the brutal truth of what the election results were. >> do you feel that on this particular topic, you are howling into the wind? >>
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taking metamucil everyday can help. metamucil psyllium fiber, gels to trap and remove the waste that weighs you down. it also helps lower cholesterol and slows sugar absorption to promote healthy blood sugar levels. so you can feel lighter and more energetic metamucil. support your daily digestive health. and try metamucil fiber thins. a great tasting and easy way to start your day. for the second winter in a row, a homemade ice rink is -- wait for it -- melting the hearts of a community in michigan. steve hartman found the story on the road. >> reporter: when an inner voice spoke to scott chidle of michigan and told him to build it, he felt compelled to listen. >> had to be done. something. >> it reminds me a little bit of field of dreams.
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>> yeah. me, too. >> reporter: as we first reported a year ago, scott decided what manton really needed to survive this pandemic was an ice rink. never mind his own kids didn't even skate. never mind hardly any kids in manton skated. he just felt the community had to have a safe outdoor space to gather whether they realized it or not, which they didn't. and when folks failed to flock to his house, scott actually went door to door to coerce them. >> i was upset. i was like are you kidding me? tell your kid to come outside and go ice-skating. you know? >> so it's not really if you build it, they will come. if you build it and go harass some families, they will come. >> that's true as well becaus they are coming, that's for certain. >> reporter: in droves. scott chidle's side yard became the place to be. the dark winter that was,
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suddenly, springing with joy for children and parents alike. >> none of these kids have electronics in their hands. it's amazing. >> it is amazing. >> reporter: since we first told this story in february, the rink has grown considerably. >> very much so. last year, i was 3,000 square feet and this year i am 5,000 square feet. >> reporter: he also has a new skate sharpener, ice-grooming equipment, and a complete lighting system. all donated by companies who saw our story and wanted to help. >> it's been unbelievable. it is the best thing i've ever done. >> hotdogs! >> you know, when scott's inner voice told him to build that rink, he had no idea what he was really creating. but now, it's clear. for those who come, the sounds and smells and smiles of this winter will be forever lasting. an iconic memory. the kind children need to cherish their childhoods. >> we all know that you got to provide for your kids but somehow you got to give 'em some magic every now and again.
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doesn't get any better than that. >> reporter: for child and parent. steve hartman, cbs news.
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well, a chance encounter at atlanta's hartsville, jackson airport turned into a life-changing event. mark strassman paid another visit to the airport's piano man. >> reporter: christmas came five months early for tony valentine -- the atlanta airport's piano man. >> it's changed my life, not the money but the act itself. changed my life in a lot of ways. >> reporter: a traveler heard tonyelt something. carlos whittaker, a motivational speaker asked his 170,000
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>> you'tnow but you got a lot of money coming, bro. >> reporter: $60,000, almost right away. over time, 85,000. strangers showing him love. >> it made me want to be a better human. >> generosity? >> yes. i had given up on it. >> reporter: valentine has to give himself kidney dialysis nine hours a day. on most of them, he's lucky to make 100 bucks in tips. whittaker gave him a retirement fund. >> i don't even know you but i love you. >> we talk all the time. like my son or something. >> reporter: you made a buddy? >> i made a buddy. >> reporter: a buddy for life. that's a gift in any season. mark strassman, cbs news, atlanta. and that is the overnight news for this monday. for some of you, the news continues. for others, make sure you check back with us later for cbs mornings. and of course, follow us online
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anytime at reporting from the broadcast center in new york city, i'm jericka duncan. this is cbs news flash. i'm elise preston in new york. secretary of defense lloyd austin tested positive for covid. in a statement, austin said he had mild symptoms, and would quarantine at home for five days. the fully-vaccinated and boosted secretary last had contact with president biden nearly two weeks ago. jurors in the elizabeth holmes' trial resumed deliberationss week. the theranos founder founder fad charges after prosecutors say she intentionally misled people about her blood-testing startup. her defense claims holmes truly believed the technology worked. and more than $522 million is up for grabs in the power ball jackpot. there hasn't been a winner in nearly three months. the lump-cash sum is estimated
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to be more than 371 million. for more news, download the cbs news app on your cell phone or connected tv. i'm elise preston, cbs news, new york. it's monday, january 3rd, 2022. this is the "cbs morning news." back to school. students nationwide return to class amid a surge in covid re. breaking overnight, the fed secretary lloyd austin tests positive for covid. his condition and last contact with president biden. two people remain missing after a massive wildfire in colorado as evacuees return home for the first time to assess the damage. well, good morning, and good to be with you. i'm anne-marie green. the new year is bringing new uncertainty for millions of
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