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tv   The News With Shepard Smith  CNBC  December 17, 2021 4:00am-5:00am EST

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. and her presence certainly lives on. the news starts now. not in years have there been hurricane-force wind gusts in so many places on the same day. i'm shepard smith. this is the news on cnbc. historic storms pummel the midwest. thousands left without power. >> it sounded like a train going through. we're on the ground with a firsthand look at the damage> ct closing arguments in the trial of the theranos founder elizabeth holmes the failed tech ceo accused of defrauding investors of millions of dollars what to expect in the days ahead. a potential game changer in
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the fight against cancer. >> most cancer deaths are happening in cancers we're not screening for at all. >> the new blood test already saving lives new data on how a popular covid treatment holds up against omicron, plus a major blow to the j&j vaccine. and coach urban meyer, fired. and nasa for the first time sending a spacecraft to the sun. >> announcer: live from cnbc, the facts. the truth, "the news with shepard smith. good evening it's the very last thing that any of us wants to talk about right now, especially nine days before christmas, but frankly tonight it's inescapable covid cases are rising extraordinarily quickly, even if in people who are vaccinated dr. fauci said today omicron will become the dominant variant very soon. the only good news so far,
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health officials say cases tied to omicron seem mild, and the booster does offer protection. the problem is how fast it's spreading and that delta is surging in many areas simultaneously take new york city, for example, the test positivity rate doubled in just three days that's something a city health adviser said we have never seen before the rate of spread unprecedented. the demand for testing on the rise look at this, miami today once again jammed with cars at a testing site in new york city, people sharing videos showing long lines at testing sites, some with dozens of people waiting. i counted 100 in one line in my neighborhood new york city's mayor announcing today his office will send out a million n95 masks and half a million at-home tests. and that may not nearly be enough politico is reporting that white house health officials have privately warned laboratories
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that demand for testing could double or triple so instead of 1.5 million tests a day that we need, we could need 3 million to 5 million. the spike in cases is disrupting lives. businesses putting the brakes on their return to work plans events and shows forced to close. another concern is the spike in cases, even if the disease is mild, will undoubtedly still get some people sick and go to hospitals. in some areas, they're already stressed to the limit. especially maryland, arizona, and colorado healthcare providers are exhausted. and seeing this freight train coming our way again is making matters worse. and omicron seems to get the best of one of the few covid treatments currently available cnbc's meg tirrell covers health and science for us you heard from the regeneron ceo today? >> yes, the company confirmed that the antibody drug loses potency against omicron, to the extent that we may likely need replacement therapies if omicron becomes dominant
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importantly, the drug works against delta, which is still the dominant variant across the u.s. right now but regeneron's ceo told us the company has already developed new potential medicines. >> we're excited to say this morning that we actually have a whole host of new antibodies, which can work against both omicron and delta. so while the current cocktail doesn't, this sort of emphasizes the need to play the long game here. >> regeneron expects it could start human testing of those drugs early next year. eli lilly also says it has a follow-on medicine even further along that works against omicron. the question will be how quickly these can get through the fda. meanwhile, europe's drug regulator indicating today countries might want to start using pfizer's anti-viral pill for covid even before it's officially authorized. amid their big surge here in the u.s., the fda has yet to act on either pfizer or merck's pills, shep.
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>> experts from the cdc today advising against getting the j&j vaccine? >> yeah, the agency's committee of outside advisers met to discuss the numbers on the rare blood clots associated with the j&j shot there have now been nine deaths associated with this condition out of more than 17 million doses of j&j given the risk is highest for women under 50 after three hours of discussion, the committee voted unanimously to recommend people pick the pfizer or moderna vaccines over j&j for everyone over 18 while many on the committee felt very strongly about this, they also acknowledged that the j&j shot's increasingly important to vaccinating other countries. and noted strong language against it from here in the u.s. could affect confidence around the world. shep >> meg, thanks andy slavitt, thank you. cases are obviously taking off, positivity rates doubling in just days. what is your outlook on when maybe this peaks
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>> talked to a dozen scientists or so in the last couple days. and the consensus seems to be forming around the third week in january. so that's both good news and bad news the good news is there may be evidence this comes at us very fast and leaves equally as fast. that would be the good news. the bad news is in that short period of time, as you reported, shep, the hospitals are going to face very significant demand both from the delta wave, the omicron wave, coming on top of it, as well as everything else people need. so we have to be very careful this christmas and holiday season not to be among them. >> but, andy, putting on m captain obvious hat, people are not locking down again they're not going to cancel christmas, even if some people want them to if someone hasn't gotten vaccinated in the last year, who in the world thinks they're going to do it now given all those truths, how do you balance making policy with the reality that people are tired of this and just dug in. >> you're right.
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this is a point in time where people are either just disbelieving or just plain tired and don't want to put their lives on hold. the good news is, unlike last year we have a lot of tools that allow people to get together with their families. we have rapid at-home tests, we have booster shots. so we have very good tools the problem is people need to use the tools. if they don't use those tools, they're putting themselves at risk and that's just -- you have to keep in front of people, reminding people that they're taking some amount of risk both in getting sick and in being part of the spread but we've come a long way in a year, don't make any doubt about it a year ago we're talk in about binary outcomes. today we have lots of ways to stay safe. >> this administration has had almost a year to get testing right. they have not gotten testing right. there is no place in lower manhattan that i find today that has any rapid test
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the lines for the regular tests are around the block and down the street hundreds of people, it is frightening to look out. why is this still a problem? why can't we get this right? >> well, we have a virus that is spreading at about three times the rate of even delta which is spread at almost twice the rate of the 2020 version. at some point in time, that's just a lot of people that's going to overload every part of the system, testing, hospitals, nursing staff, nursing shortages, you know, these things are going to be very, very beleaguered we have, i think we'll be continuing to see this for some period of time when i was in the white house, the best thing i could think to do is to level with people and let people mow that there's no possible way, if we end up with a million cases a day, you know -- >> is that what you think -- >> -- as a country - >> is that what you think, andy? a million cases a day? is that what is ahead of us? >> that's certainly some of the projections.
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remember, we're seeing a doubling every two to three days of this. so the question is at what point does it reach limits you know, to put that in perspective, if you have 100,000 cases on christmas, you have 400,000 cases on new year's. if the math work outs the way it's trending, we have a real serious issue. no one can predict that for sure >> let's hope not. andy, thanks so much a historic december storm has just left behind a path of destruction from the west coast up to the great lakes. the damage spans more than 2,000 miles. hundreds of thousands of people in the storm's path still without power tonight, according to a group that tracks outages officials across three states, iowa, kansas, minnesota, say at least five people died in the storm, four of them in car crashes and then a man who died when a 40-foot tree fell on him. this video from hartland,
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minnesota. a house destroyed. the national weather service confirmed the state's first-ever december tornado touched down there. all told, there were at least 20 confirmed tornados extreme winds in kansas fanning the flames of destructive wildfires. fire officials said several homes and buildings burned most of the state was already facing a significant or critical fire outlook when the storm hit. gusts of 100 miles an hour in some areas this is northwood, iowa, about two hours north of des moines. the wind whipping rain there the state's governor issuing a disaster proclamation for 49 counties perry russom reports tonight. from des moines. >> reporter: another night of twisters tearing across the country. winds tossing a dumpster in a parking lot. the midwest becoming a tornado alley in december. >> we were just amazed at how bad it really is >> reporter: nine reports of tornados in iowa alone in maxwell, iowa the wind
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ripping down a tree sending it straight into a house. the storms were fueled by record heat des moines reaching 74 degrees yesterday. a new high for the month of december the average high for this time of year, 34 degrees. the wind moving across colorado, northwest of denver. trash swirling down the sidewalk in kansas city, missouri, walls collapsing power lines going down, lighting trees on fire. >> this is like a tornado. >> reporter: a dust storm trapping drivers >> in minnesota -- >> reporter: in minnesota, rain slamming christmas lights. neighbors using flash lights, seeing the damage left behind. debris covering front yards. >> it was crazy. my mom went upstairs to get a flashlight and it just sounded like a train going through, but it didn't last very long >> reporter: a wind gust of 74 miles per hour is measured here at the airport at des moines the national weather service says that's the strongest gust not tied to a thunderstorm in more than 50 years
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shep >> incredible, perry thank you. , of course, the storms come after the deadly outbreak in kentucky and elsewhere on friday we'll have more coverage on the devastation and what people say they're doing to help recovery in mayfield. that's coming up in this news hour at the bottom of the hour all of those missionaries kidnapped by a gang in haiti are free in a statement, the group says all of the released hostages are safe it says it hopes to release more information at a later time. this is the orphanage from which the missionaries were returning when the gang abducted them. it happened in october 17 people, including five children were taken. elizabeth holmes closer to learning her fate. the prosecution and defense giving closing arguments what they want the jury to remember kim potter's boss takes the stand in her manslaughter trial. what he had to say about her pulling a gun instead of a taser.
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and at the college level, he was a king among coaches in the pros, well, tonight he's unemployed urban meyer, out, fired. couldn't even finish the season. tonight, how it all unravelled >> the facts the truth. the news with shepard smith back in 60 seconds.
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the jury could soon get the case in the trial of elizabeth holmes the prosecution and defense delivering closing arguments today. she's accused of duping investors. and raising hundreds of millions of dollars with her dubious claims abouther company's supposedly revolutionary blood testing technology cnbc's scott cohn covering the trial for us and live outside the courthouse in san jose. scott? >> reporter: shep, 13 weeks of testimony, more than 30 witnesses, hundreds of pieces of evidence, allboiling down now
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to a few hours of closing arguments and soon a reckoning for 37-year-old elizabeth holmes who could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. with the company running out of money, she chose fraud over business failure, the jury was told she chose to be dishonest with her investors and patients that choice was not only callous he said, it was criminal like a 2013 call with prospective investors played for the jury today in which shanks says holmes flat-out lied. >> we knew that it would take us a long time to be able to establish an infrastructure that could do any lab test that is run in a traditional lab and we've thus built a business around partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and our contracts with the military. >> reporter: taking on holmes'
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claims that she was abused by chief operating officer sunny balwani, her former boyfriend, abused that balwani denied, shank argued that it was essentially irrelevant you do not need to decide whether that abuse happened in order to render a verdict, shank argued and a completely different figure -- picture that is from holmes defense attorney, kevin downey arguing before the jury that holmes did not intend to commit fraud. elizabeth holmes was building a company, not a criminal enterprise, he argued. he said the government deliberately left out theranos' legitimate successes and when holmes added some of their logos to reports that were later sent out to investors, the companies, he argued, were fine with it. he also said holmes was paying attention to glowing reports she was getting from inside the company and outside the company about the technology we expect that downey will continue his closing argument tomorrow, followed by rebuttal
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from the government, then instructions to the jury, which could get this case, shep, by this time tomorrow >> scott cohn, live at the courthouse he was the police chief, and kim potter's boss, when she shot and killed daunte wright during a traffic stop today he took the stand in the ex-cop's manslaughter trial. former brooklyn center police chief, tim gannon, testified he does not believe kim potter violated department policy or broke the law during the deadly encounter. potter insists she pulled her gun instead of her taser by mistake and did not mean to shoot daunte wright as he struggled with officers and tried to get away. after reviewing body cam and dash cam video, the ex-chief testified that, in his opinion, using deadly force or a taser against wright was reasonable, because one of the officers was leaning into the passenger side window and was at risk of being dragged if wright drove off.
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>> when i viewed all the angles, i saw no violation >> no violation of what? >> of policy, procedure or law >> gannon resigned two days after the shooting back in april. he said he believed he had to quit, because he did not want to immediately fire potter. ghislaine maxwell's defense team calling their first witness to testify in her sex trafficking trial today. jurors heard from her former assistant and a false memory expert the former assistant testified she worked for maxwell at jeffrey epstein's company for years. she insisted she never saw any awe abuse of underage girls and that maxwell and epstein appeared to have a loving relationship with one of the accusers who testified during the trial. a false memory expert testified that when people who are told misinformation sometimes adopt it as their own memory and their own memory becomes inaccurate. maxwell's defense team told the
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judge they could rest their case tomorrow, that means closing arguments could begin monday after less than one season in the nfl, urban meyer is out of a job tonight, how it all went so horribly wrong telecom companies are set to expand 5g towers in the next couple of months so why are the fcc and faa fighting now about whether the network will be trouble for airlines and millions of homes, schools and child care facilities get their drinking water from lead pipes. now a plan to replace every single one of them, all across america. just work that builds on itself over and over and over again... becuase the only way is through. ♪♪ ♪ and have yourself a merry little christmas now. ♪ celebrate the season together with a holiday gift
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conditioning coach who'd been accused of bullying black players and making racist remarks. he resigned after one day. the jaguars began the season by losing five straight in october, as the losses were piling up, video went viral on social media of a young woman, who was not meyer's wife, dancing in his lap at a bar. urban meyer publicly apologized. then a new allegation from a former jaguars kicker, he said meyer kicked him while he was stretching during practice and told him, "start making your effing kicks". the team's president said, as i stated in october, it was incredible >> andrew beaton, one sports columnist put it this way, the big bully urban meyer finally got punched in the mouth
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is there anyone who did not see this coming? >> i think for a little while now it's been a question of when, not if for a matter of weeks and months now this has been a slowly-evolving train wreck that has played out very publicly from the early hiring issues to thing that is he did wrong with practices over the summer that broke rules. to the very fact that this is a team that did not win. and everything played out in a very public way and made this ugly and something that arrived with spectacular fanfare turned into a spectacular disaster. >> i asked this question when he left florida -- university of florida, surrounded in all kinds of weird, is his career over is there any chance that any pro or college team would give him a chance >> you're right. this is a question that was asked many times it was asked after he left florida, then he went to ohio state and was incredibly successful there then it looked like he might be done again, takes the leap to the pros and ends up in a big, big mess after all this happens, it's
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really hard to imagine an nfl team -- one thing to remember about urban meyer, he's one of the most successful coaches in if college football history. if he's interested in coaching again, you have to think maybe someday there would be a college that wants to take a chance on him, because he wins there >> i hope they call me to come on, i would love to have a conversation about that. the nfl came out with a strategy to try to keep the covid outbreaks to a minimum all new protocols. what are the rules now >> basically, some of the rules look very much like 2020, in that they had this incredible outbreak of cases over the last week -- >> 100. >> -- they had 100-some-odd cases after relative ease to begin the season they're looking at 2020 measures in terms of masking and social distancing but they're trying to look at this is a new phase of the pandemic where you have all these players testing positive, most of them don't have any symptoms, because the nfl's a very vaccinated universe, almost 95% of the players so they're changing the
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protocols in a modern way, a smart way, to say how can we get those players who test positive, aren't feeling any symptoms, back on the field quickly so it disrupts less. >> let's hope. thank you. given the gift of crypto how the very 2021 idea is gaining traction and a new twist in the "rust" movie investigation why police are requesting a warrant for alec baldwin's cell phone. and a truck driver sentenced over a deadly crash. the time he was given, striking a nerve. why more than 2 million people are now trying to help him out as we approach the bottom of the hour and the top of the news on cnbc cnbc
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santa claus is coming to town next week. the countdown to the holiday is officially on. christmas is nine days from today. if you're looking for a last-minute gift idea, how about some bitcoin a very cnbc christmas. crypto has boomed over the past few years. now trading platforms offering americans a chance to give their loved ones a slice of the action here's cnbc's kate ruby. >> reporter: it used to be gift cards or even cash for the holiday shopping procrastinators, but as cryptocurrency investing becomes more mainstream, digital assets are now a viable last-minute option gifters say it helps them avoid
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shipping headaches and it's a way to teach friends and family about investing in the emerging asset class. >> on christmas day we'll bust out the cell phone, order this and i can show my father-in-law how to do this in person right then and there so absolutely. awesome last-minute gift don't have to worry about supply chain and shipping delays and paying extra for shipping. just nice, easy peasy gift for us >> i want to get some of my friends, family members introduced to it those that are still reluctant to get it on their own, i figure why, i'll just give it to them >> reporter: tech companies are taking notice. a handful are offering ways to gift crypto within their apps. this week, block, formerly known as square, announced a way to give bitcoin as a gift robinhood followed with its own gifting option coin base also offers a gifting option, and a handful of others.
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with the gift of bitcoin, you're also gifting volatility. the asset is known to rise and fall by 10 or 20% and sometimes within just a matter of hours. that gift may come with a tax bill if the value goes up, friends and family will eventually have to pay taxes on it that is if and when they sell, shep thank you, rooney, a surge many americans skipping medica care because of the cost that's what's topping cnbc's "on the money" nearly one third of all americans skipped necessary medical care in the past three months because they couldn't afford it. that's triple the share since march. the news from a new study by gallup and west health the financial concerns come as covid flares up again all awe cross the nation people who put off routine doctor visits because of the pandemic are now facing higher costs for care the new kid on the block getting sued
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h&r block filing a trademark infringement against block, that's jack dorsey's former company previously known as square the tax preparation service alleges that the name change might cause confusion for its customers. it claims they dorsey's company is capitalizing on its reputation and the boss hitting it big. bruce springsteen reportedly just sold the rights of his music library to sony music group for one half of $1 billion the rocker from jersey's deal believed to be the largest one ever for a single artist on wall street the dow down 30. s&p down 41. nasdaq down 385. 2.5% nasdaq's worst day since late september. i'm shepard smith on cnbc. it's the bottom of the hour, time for the top of the news
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a potential game changer in the fight against cancer the new blood test experts say can screen more than 50 types of the disease. above and beyond the call of duty the extraordinary valor that earned three american heroes the medal of honor and a horrific crash leads to a controversial century-long prison sentence. as of this hour, nearly 2 million people have signed a petition asking the governor to grant him clemency in 2019, he was 23 years old working as a semi-truck driver when he says his brakes failed on i-70. his truck slammed into traffic, leading to this horrific, fiery, 28-car pileup. four people killed he said it was an accident prosecutors said he had several chances to avoid the crash but didn't the jury convicted him on more than 20 counts including vehicular manslaughter the court sentenced him just
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this week to 110 years in prison that's more than some murderers have gotten. the reason, the mandatory minimum sentencing laws don't allow for sentences to be run concurrently they must be run one after another. even the judge in this case said he didn't want to have to issue a sentence that long, but he did local coverage from our denver affiliate, kusa and their reporter katy eastman. >> reporter: courtroom 130 was a tough place to be for two and a half hours on monday afternoon the mother of rogel cried out as the truck driver entered to begin his sentencing hearing >> these families have a hole in a place that's empty now >> reporter: inside this room, heartbreak in every corner, from the families of four people who were killed when aguilera madare lost control of the semi he was driving and crashed into traffic in april 2019.
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miguel, bill, and stan died. >> i don't have my dad for the rest of my life. but i hope that the defendant's son can have his dad for the rest of his life >> it is exhausting to actually make the decision to stay alive every day. >> reporter: the decision to stay alive >> i take responsibility, but it wasn't intentional >> reporter: he said he didn't understand why god made the decision to keep him alive >> i would have preferred god taken me instead of this because this is no life. >> reporter: people in this room spoke of life and loss, even forgiveness. >> i am not angry at you >> reporter: but the law had the last word. >> because i will state that if i had the discretion, it would not be my sentence
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>> reporter: the sentence puts him in prison for the rest of his life courtroom 130 was a tough place to be on monday. but the hearts inside it will stay broken long after leaving for the news, i'm katy eastman actor alec baldwin's cell phone is now the subject of a search warrant as an investigation continues into the death of cinematographer halyna hutchins on the set of the move "rust". it came out today, an eight-page document that request the information be turned over to investigators. the documents include details from an interview baldwin had with detectives. in it he described e-mail conversations with the armorer there, hannah gutierrez reid that took place before the filming began. he said gutierrez reed sent him photos of various weapons for the production, and he, quote,ing here, requested a bigger gun the search warrant says
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investigators believe those emails and text messages are relevant to this investigation we reached out for a statement and haven't heard back the number of people missing after a deadly tornado outbreak in kentucky dropped dramatically the governor there says now 16 people are unaccounted for at this had point that's down from more than 100 yesterday. at least 76 people are now also confirmed dead after the storms, that's an increase of two since the last death toll update and it ties the record for the deadliest tornado ever to hit kentucky a major warning from the airlines a brand-new g5 wireless network could wreak havoc with airlines in the new year. the head of united airlines called on at&t and verizon to slow down the rollout of their service. he said it could delay and even cancel flights and impact hundreds of thousands of passengers the reason well, the faa and aviation experts say the 5g network could interfere with sensitive
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technology on the planes but, as we've reported here, it's fine in other countries, and the fcc is pushing back. here's nbc's kerry sanders >> reporter: cell phone companies have hyped 5g as a major leap forward in technology allowing data to move faster than ever before but weeks before at&t and verizon's towers go live, a warning about possible interference with crucial technology pilots rely on, specifically, altimeters an instrewm -- an instrument usd in almost every landing. it tells pilots the distance from the ground. just last week, the federal aviation administration issuing an air worthiness directive that reads in part, altimeters cannot be relied on if they experience interference. airline executives on capitol hill wednesday
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>> i think if you were to ask us what our number one concern here is in the near term, it is the deployment of 5g >> reporter: the airline industry warns flights could be canceled or forced to divert to airports without 5g interference, potentially impacting thousands of flights a day and millions of passengers, especially at big airports nationwide the airline industry is urging cooperation to resolve the issue. >> we could absolutely solve this and live in a world where there is 5g available. >> reporter: the cellular industry and federal communications commission says 5g is already rolled out in more than 40 countries around the world without impacting aviation at&t and verizon are also committing to reduce 5g power levels near airports does it make sense that one hand of the government, the faa and the other hand of the government, the fcc didn't figure this out in advance >> they have not been able to get in the same room and reach consensus to this point. >> troubling to you?
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>> it's causing a degradation in aviation safety, it's very troubling to me. >> reporter: it's important to note that government engineers say the frequency that t-mobile uses does not interfere with the plane's avionics shep >> sanders from ft. lauderdale a prominent puerto rican music producer among the dead after a private jet bound for florida crashed in the dr last night. officials say the plane went down just 16 minutes after taking off near santo domingo, the capital. all nine people on board died. you can see smoke in the distance from the airport. jose fernandez was better known as flow la movie his wife and 4-year-old son also reportedly died in the same crash. the company that operated the aircraft reports the pilot was attempting to land minutes after takeoff. this was the plane's flight path according to flight radar 24.com
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the cause of the crash still under investigation. smash and grabs. we reported on a string of robberies and heists hitting retailers across the country it's costing them big money. in fact, retailers lose about $65 billion each year to organized theft. that's according to the coalition of law enforcement and retail but while cops are stepping up patrols for sure, now retailers are taking action on their own here's cnbc's courtney reagan. >> reporter: while trending higher before the pandemic began, three quarters of retailers reported an increase in this type of theft last year. the survey also points to societal changes and new law enforcement and prosecution policies, adding to in-store theft. los angeles tops the list for organized retail crime >> should we call 911? >> reporter: like this smash and grab at the grove mall then chicago and miami these crimes are spreading beyond big cities, impacting communities in several ways.
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rob carr of the illinois retail association says it's not a victimless crime the more that's stolen, the more a retailer has to sell, possibly at higher prices, to make up for it he estimates it will cos illinois at least $200 million in lost sales tax revenue this year >> for the first time in my 27 years, public safety and crime ranks in the top one or two spots in terms of what companies are deciding in terms of where they're going to locate or where they're going to continue to be located in a particular area >> reporter: nearly two-thirds of retailers say these organized retail gangs are more violent and aggressive than before add in the increasing value of stolen goods and more retail ceos are speaking out. >> for our employees, these were traumatic experiences. we're putting a multitude of measures in place, whether that's locking some of the product up, whether that's working with our vendor partners, whether that's working with local law enforcement or
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working with our trade federations, but we really, really want to prioritize our employee and customer safety and it's been a horrible change in the trajectory of the business >> they're taking our products off the shelf. and they're putting them online. we need to go after that >> reporter: many want stricter regulations for online market places, cutting off a key channel for re-selling stolen goods. >> i'm not saying all the online market places are complicit in this, but i think there are some that are willfully blind they know that this is happening. they know it would be expensive the to put countermeasures in place to it. >> reporter: shep, 20 retail ceos signed a letter sent to congress last week urging passage of the inform act, which would require places to collect and disclose information for certain high-volume sellers. >> courtney, thank you federal dea agents seized more fentanyl than ever before
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this year. more than 15,000 pounds of fentanyl this year, that's enough to kill every single american agents also picked up more than 20 million fake pills made to look like drug, including xanax, adderall and oxycontin they blamed mexican drug cartels and social media she said cartels have been using tiktok and youtube and snapchat, plus facebook to reach out to teenagers. she's calling on social media to do more to help teenagers. a simple blood test that can help save your life. that's a new technology that can screen for more than 50 types of cancer tonight one man's story of survival the medal of honor, today president biden honored three soldiers with it only one of whom made it home alive.
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a new blood test could be the next major cancer breakthrough it scans for dozens of types of cancer, and the startup that created it says it could save countless lives. according to the company it can even help doctors locate where the cancer is inside the patient's body nbc's senior national correspondent kate snow spoke with a man who says that test may have saved his life. >> reporter: cancer was the last thing 76-year-old jim ford was worried about. were you in pretty good health >> very good health, yeah. i didn't take any pills. i play golf once or twice a week >> reporter: through sutter health in california he volunteered to be part of a study on a blood test that can screen for more than 50 cancers. he was shocked when the results came back positive then his physician ordered scans and found stage two cancer in his pancreas, he and his wife were devastated. >> she literally collapsed on the living room floor and sobbed
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because we were -- we were both thinking it was a death sentence >> reporter: but that test probably saved his life, because the cancer was found early dr. josh offman is president of grail, a silicone valley startup that created the test. >> most deaths occur when we're not screening at all >> reporter: nobody is finding them >> that's right. >> reporter: only five cancers have screening tests 71% of cancer deaths are caused by other cancers >> we're losing 2,000 of our loved ones every day, and it's because we're finding them too late >> reporter: galleri looks for dna shed by cancer tumors. it sees them, it predicts where the cancer is. >> so if it sees cancer signal detected, possible location, ovary, they will know to do a test of the pelvis >> reporter: the test is available now by prescription but is not covered by insurance.
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cost to the patient, $950. a positive result is not always right. up to half will turn out not to be cancer. but researchers at the national cancer institute said the results so far could potentially revolutionize cancer screening and they're doing bigger studies. jim's latest scan looks great. >> to catch it at stage two is a big deal >> it's like winning the lottery. >> reporter: jim is hoping his story might save others. he recently got to hold his new granddaughter. >> i was able to go back and see her. it meant a lot >> reporter: those are happy tears, right >> yeah, very much so. >> reporter: i did ask the chief medical officer about those who might you this of theranos and wonder if a blood test can really predict cancer. they said they've been
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transparent so far, their data has been submitted to all the authorities. the national cancer institute as we mentioned is thinking that this has a lot of promise. for the news, i'm kate snow. women can get the abortion pill by mail and the fda today made the rule permanent. the move expands access to abortion as the supreme court weighs the future of roe v wade. the pill called ru-486 is approved to terminate pregnancies up to 70 days of gestation. the white house unveiling a plan to replace every lead pipe in america vice president harris announced the plan today according to the administration, as many as 10 million american homes and 400,000 schools and child care facilities get their drinking water through lead pipes. each one costs thousands to replace. the american water works association estimates it would
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cost more than $60 billion to replace every lead pipe in the country. josh letterman now on how the white house plans to pay for it. >> reporter: president biden had asked congress for $45 billion for lead pipes and paint in the infrastructure law, he only got 15 billion dollar. so the white house plans to cobble together other funds, including leftover funds from the covid stimulus and $15 billion the administration is counting on from president biden's build back better bill that legislation hasn't passed congress and may never become law, but senior administration officials say they're confident they can get the job regardless. vice president kamala harris today calling it a matter of fairness for poor, rural, and minority communities >> so the bottom line is that there is to reason in the 21st century for why people are still exposed to this substance that was poisoning people back in the 18th century >> reporter: it was more than six years ago that the water crisis in flint, michigan came
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to light and really pushed this issue into the public eye. but the white house estimates there are more than 6 million lead pipes in use across the country. no one knows the exact number. the epa saying today tha science shows no level of lead exposure is safe for humans and pledging new legislations to crack down on water suppliers. while the white house says it believes biden's promise to get rid of every remaining lead pipe can be met within ten years. shep >> thanks very much. it's been nearly six months since the shocking surfside, florida condo collapse killed 98 people now a grand jury in miami-dade county has just released a series of recommendations to avoid a similar disaster among the serious lessons learned, as they put it, the report recommends revisin inste 40 years condo boards must beg the
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d con condominium law. it's in desperate need of recertification. condo boards must be involved more so and accountable for preserving buildings, and it calls for the state's department of business and regulation to be restructured the miami-dade mayor aims to put these recommendations into action in a statement she wrote, her office is committed to getting answers and accountability for the victims of the unthinkable tragedy in surfside. one hero rescued his friends from a burning humvee. another used his body as a shield a third laid down cover fire in the face of suicide bombers. three army soldiers awarded the nation's highest military honor today, their stories next. and a mystery appearance on a beach in rhode island. it's giving people a little something extra to believe in this holiday season .
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three soldiers and three stories of heroism today president biden awarded the medal of honor, the nation's highest military award, to men who served in iraq and afghanistan. >> while today we honor three outstanding soldiers whose actions embodied the highest ideals of selfless service, we also remember the high price our military members and their families are willing to pay on behalf of our nation >> with the stories behind the medals, here's nbc news chief white house correspondent peter alexander. >> reporter: it was august 2013 when a massive explosion tore a 60-foot hole in the perimeter wall of master sergeant earl
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plu plumley's base in afghan those wearing suicide vest stormed in what's going through your hid at the moment >> the right guy at the right place. >> reporter: the soldiers did not retreat but headed toward the attackers. outnumbered and armed with only a pistol as bullets wizzed by his head, the green beret shot two assailants before shotting a third moments before the attacker started his vest >> started sprinting toward me i remember his eyes being incredibly wide. i remember feeling the pain from the blast in my bones. >> reporter: he was injured but kept fighting and carried a wounded soldier to safety. how did you not get shot >> i do not know >> reporter: sergeant-major tony bell says plumley's courage likely saved hundreds of lives >> the call to action is different. and earl felt that
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hoe didn't look to see who he was trying to protect. he was just protecting people. >> reporter: also honored, christopher soliz. who sacrificed his life to shield his team from enemy gun fire in afghanistan as they evacuated a wounded member to a waiting helicopter >> i know for a fact that had chris not taken those actions he would not have been able to live with im had self >> reporter: and alwyn cashe the first african american to receive the honor since the vietnam war. his bradley fighting vehicle hit an ied he rushed to extinguish the driver before catching fire himself. charging back into the burning vehicle over and over again to pull out not one but all six of husband wounded men. he died a few weeks later. today the president greeted cash's sister. why is it bittersweet? >> because he's not here and i'd pay you a million
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dollars, something i don't have, for him to be here >> reporter: three lives now connected. >> i think our stories at this point are going to be bound together forever and i hope i can represent them well. >> reporter: valor that will never be forgotten for the news, i'm peter alexander. there's a mystery in middletown, rhode island every year this time of year a christmas tree pops up on the beach. when it first appears, the tree has a star made of driftwood and the branches are bare, and that's when the people in the area step in >> the community stops by and they put decorations, memory of someone or they just start their own traditions and they put their ornaments there. >> people who live there say the tree just appears after thanksgiving and then it's gone in the new year. it's not clear when the tradition started, who puts the tree up, or what happens to the ornaments when it disappears
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but at this time of year, maybe you don't need all the answers 50 seconds left on the race to the finish. covid cases spreading rapidly across the nation with only nine days until christmas in new york city, the test positivity rate has doubled in just three days. just minutes ago, a federal judge in new york just tossed out a settlement that shielded the sackler family from future lawsuits over their alleged role in the opioid epidemic now you know the news on this december 16th, 2021. i'm shepard smith. follow us on instagram and twitter at the news on cnbc. listen to the podcast on apple, spotify or your favorite platform watch that elf on the shelf, he wants you back tomorrow night for another edition of the news. hey google.
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it is 5:00 a.m. in new york city, and here is your top five at 5:00. tech stocks continue to come under pressure, down big in a few days is it the fed or is it something else deal news, oracle reportedly in talks to buy an electronic medical records company for $30 billion. fed ex taking off helped by higher shipping rates. the cdc making a new recommendation on covid vaccines and which one you should get. and as the elizabeth

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