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Growing Fears Of A Full-Blown Border Crisis Amid New Migrant Surge; American Tourists Stranded In Peru Amid Unrest; Russian Missiles Knock Out Power, Water In Ukrainian Towns; Snow Across Parts Of Northeast Today, Bitter Cold To Come; Airlines Cutting Back On Perks Amid Holiday Rush; Tiger Woods, Son Charlie Hit The Links At 2022 PNC Championship. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired December 17, 2022 - 11:00   ET





Thank you so much for joining me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

Right now, cities along the southern border are bracing for an increase of migrants after a federal appeals court rejects a Republican-led challenge to keep Title 42 in place. That Trump-era policy allowed authorities to swiftly expel migrants who crossed into the U.S. from Mexico, citing health concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Well, the court ruling will allow the policy to end next week and set the stage for a challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court.

But for many border cities, resources are already strained. In El Paso, Texas authorities are grappling with a surge of over 2,000 migrants daily.

CNN's Ed Lavandera has more.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's 39 degrees and getting colder. This is Roberto Cordoba's first night sleeping on the El Paso streets. He says he has never experienced anything close to homelessness. He left Cuba last month and is hoping to get to Miami soon.

He says this is the first time in his life he had to spend the night on the street and he feels completely lost.

A thin pair of New York Giants socks and unlaced shoes won't be enough to get through the frigid night.

Everything that he is wearing now, the jackets and the heavy clothing, is donated -- people who have dropped it off here. Roberto hopes there is something else to keep him warm in the back of

Sandragrace Martinez's car. For days, she's handed out donated goods.

SANDRAGRACE MARTINEZ, VOLUNTEER: They're on survival mode. It's quite a plight for them.

LAVANDERA: The long lines of migrants from Juarez, Mexico waiting to get escorted into El Paso by border patrol agents has significantly dwindled, a sign that perhaps this latest migration surge has slowed down for now.

But that could change next week with the Title 42 public health rule set to expire. That order allows for the swift expulsion of migrants at the border.

As more migrants arrive in El Paso, officials plan to bring in more buses to move migrants to their destinations in the U.S. faster, hoping to prevent a backlog of people on these streets.

MARIO D'AGOSTINO, DEPUTY CITY MANAGER, EL PASO, TEXAS: So with that, that might bring in transportation in forms of buses to get them to that transportation hub. Whether it's Dallas or Denver or Phoenix or whatever that next large airport or bus terminal is, it's to move them on to those locations.

LAVANDERA: El Paso emergency management outreach teams are helping migrants find shelter space at night, but Albert Robles and his wife have been sleeping on the street, buried under blankets since Monday night. Their bus ticket to Connecticut isn't good until this weekend.

He said the first night that he was sleeping on the street, it was drizzly and cold. It was almost like a fatal feeling, but he thought, you know, he has been dreaming of this moment for so long, that there is no way he was going to turn back.

City and county public officials have been meeting with the federal government, including customs and border protection officials. They are all in the process of planning and preparing for what's to come next week if and when Title 42 is lifted on Wednesday.

Ed Lavandera, CNN -- El Paso, Texas.


WHITFIELD: Title 42 expiring is expected to have huge ramifications not just in the U.S., but also in Mexico where many migrants have been waiting for a chance to enter.

CNN's Gustavo Valdes is live in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico which is bordering El Paso, Texas. So good to see you, Gustavo. So what are you seeing at the border?


Well, what Ed is seeing is a result of the people who have first crossed through Juarez. And we are looking at a few people right now early in the morning, still just above freezing, wondering if they want to cross today. You see that family of four. There is a father, mother, two young children.


VALDES: And then there is also a group of men -- Venezuelans, Hondurans they tell me -- who are trying to decide if they want to cross this small stretch of the Rio Grande into the United States today or wait until Wednesday when Title 42 is supposed to expire.

For many of them the expiration of this Trump-era policy doesn't have much weight other than when they get up to that point on top of the hill where the border wall starts and the border patrol is waiting on the other side, some are being told that it's not worth taking the risk today because they might still be deported. That's it's better for some of them to wait until Title 42 expires to see if they have better luck.

This is what one of the migrants told me yesterday.


MIGUEL MORENO, MIGRANT: The agent told me to at least wait so I won't waste my time turning myself in because they were going to send me back across the border. That the right thing to do would be after the 21st so that I had a chance to enter.

At least, I have a bit of hope more than anything because of my daughters.


VALDES: He was carrying a six-month-old all the way from Venezuela in this frigid weather that they said that it was unexpected to them.

And you see this small group of men, some of them tell me that's already the American side. They are on the Mexican side, if you will, of the border wall but already in U.S. territory. They have camped out there to be the first ones on Wednesday when the expiration of Title 42, and they are perhaps allowed to enter the states.

Now, let's remember, U.S. government officials are saying that just because Title 42, that doesn't mean that they are just willingly allow anyone to enter the United States. It's just a change of policy. They will still deport those who don't qualify for asylum, who don't have a valid claim.

WHITFIELD: And then I wonder, Gustavo, is the local government in Mexico there. And if so, what is their response? What are they doing?

VALDES: So here in Juarez, I mean, we know the border towns have seen this for many years, but here statistically in Juarez, they were used mostly to people who were deported from the U.S. This was like a point of return for many of them.

They tell me they have never seen this so-called caravans, the large number of migrants arriving in these large numbers that we have seen in recent days. And the migrants tell me just perhaps right now the bus fares are cheaper to come to Juarez and other crossing points.

So they are making this one of the places where they can safely, they feel, cross. But we are seeing this increase everywhere along the border. For the Chihuahuan authorities, this is something new in the sense that now they have to care, just like in El Paso, for more people with fewer resources. Here in Juarez, there are also many, many people sleeping on the streets.

WHITFIELD: All right. Gustavo Valdes, we'll check back with you. Thank you so much for that.

All right. Let's talk further. Joining me right now is Isabel Salcido. She's a city council representative in El Paso, Texas. Councilwoman, so good to see you.

ISABEL SALCIDO, COUNCILWOMAN, EL PASO, TEXAS: Thank you so much for having me here and allowing me to shed some light on this humanitarian crisis that's happening here in my beautiful city of El Paso.

WHITFIELD: We are hoping you can paint a picture for us because I know you spoke with my colleague, Kate Bolduan yesterday before the appeals court made its rulings. So now that Title 42 is set to expire on Wednesday, how is your city preparing for what may follow after that expiration on Wednesday?

SALCIDO: You know, Fredricka, you know, I have been sounding the alarm for months on this crisis. And I'm a big proponent of working proactively and not reactively. That is why I have been focused on getting all possible resources to El Paso whether it's from the federal government or the state.

You know, I have urged the mayor of the city of El Paso, Oscar Leeser and our county judge Ricardo Samaniego to call for an emergency disaster declaration so that we can obtain all possible resources from the state as Title 42 is set to lift in just a couple of days.


WHITFIELD: Let me stop you there. Resources like what? What kind of resources?

SALCIDO: We need, you know, we need more manpower here. We need to be able to get advanced funding for the federal government so that we can feed. We need to bus them out of here.

Our staff is tasked (ph), CBP is tasked. Our local resources are tasked. A municipal should not have to (INAUDIBLE) cause for a federal crisis that we are seeing currently right now.

And you know, what I'm afraid of is, you know, the safety of El Pasoans, the safety of the migrants and this is quite -- this is just not sustainable for the city of El Paso.

WHITFIELD: So on two of those things that you just mentioned, when you say feed people, where will you be feeding people? What is the, you know, shelter arrangement that you would have to feed people?

And then secondly, you said bus out of the city, bus to where?


SALCIDO: You know, you have the county that has the processing center and the city of El Paso, we had a welcome center as well that as Title 42 will lift will be opened again, not only to welcome, but also to shelter from that bus to their -- wherever they are going as they mentioned that we are going to be busing them to other airports so that they can get their flights where they want to go.

We are just being tasked here. Also getting out of El Paso, there is not a lot of flights that are direct. And so we're looking at all possible ways to make sure that there is a clear process.

We all know that the system is broken in regards to this. There really needs to be comprehensive immigration that needs to be worked on. So we are just dealing with whatever it is right now and trying to really streamline a process that, you know, quite frankly is not going to be (INAUDIBLE) sustainable for the influx of people we will be getting here in El Paso.

WHITFIELD: So with this Title 42 expiring on Wednesday, is it your expectation that on Wednesday, starting Wednesday that's when you would see a difference? You would see an increase in people?

Or you are anticipating that over a course of days, if perhaps weeks, after that expiration, that's when you will see more people who will be in need?

SALCIDO: Well, as you can see, I mean the pictures that, you know, basically tell you everything. And also the videos. You have people waiting in line on the other side.

It's going to be a rush of people from that. We're expecting about 14,000. I mean it is -- it is a big number. Right now we are seeing about 2,000 coming into our community. That number is going to only increase. It's not sustainable for El Paso. The infrastructure --


WHITFIELD: It's not your expectation that simply gates will be opened and there will just be a flood of people. I mean there is still the issue of processing people, seeing if they are qualified in which to seek asylum. I mean, that is still in place, right?

SALCIDO: Absolutely. That is still in place. But with the numbers that we are seeing and, you know, if they do qualify like you mentioned, they are seeking asylum, they have done everything, they are going to go through the process and the next step is for us to be able to shelter them and then take on, you know, what is next.

And so I do think the numbers are going to get bigger. We only have seen that to happen. And that's my fear to not be prepared. WHITFIELD: Councilwoman, you also sent us a short video, you know, of

the city streets there in El Paso this morning, adding that it is 33 degrees outside, it's very cold. We heard that from our Gustavo as well.

And these were some of the images, you know, as, you know, as your car I guess is driving by. Describe for us who we're seeing, what's the story that you are trying to paint here?

Because these are people who are already in, in the states, correct? Like are their circumstances similar to those who are trying to enter?

SALCIDO: Yes, absolutely. you know, when I came out of my home this morning, it was so cold. It felt so piercing. When I was driving, I drove through the city of El Paso and downtown. Just coming to my office, this is what you are seeing just everybody on the streets. It's cold. You know, they are trying to stay warm another day.

You know, my fear here is that, you know, it could turn into a catastrophe. And you know, a gentleman mentioned that he felt like it felt like death to him. And yes, with these cold weathers I cannot see anything other than that. So we -- so it's definitely been -- it's disheartening, it's sad to see.

We really need to find a process. We really need to, you know, both sides have -- both sides of the aisle, both parties need to really work on reform.

WHITFIELD: Councilwoman Isabel Salcido, glad you could be with us. Thank you so much.

SALCIDO: Thank you so much for having me.

WHITFIELD: Peruvian officials say evacuations of tourists who are stranded in the ancient city of Machu Picchu are expected to begin today. Hundreds of tourists, including many Americans, became trapped because of mass protests and unrest that have left the country in chaos.

CNN's Rafael Romo has more.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: I have been in touch with Americans who had planned a trip of a lifetime to exotic places in Peru like the ancient city of Machu Picchu. They told me as early as Monday they noticed people protesting violently on the streets in cities like Cusco and Ayacucho. Shortly thereafter, rail lines and regional airports shut down and now they're unable to return home.

The death toll now stands at 20 after more than a week of violent protests. Authorities say there are at least 40 injured but the figure has been steadily increasing. Former President Pedro Castillo was impeached and subsequently arrested on December 7 after announcing his plan to dissolve Congress. The unrest sparked by his arrest has prompted international warnings

about travel to Peru. A state of emergency was declared Wednesday and now eight regions are under curfew. But it's become painfully clear that measures authorities have taken so far are not enough to put an end to the chaos.


ROMO: I spoke with Michael Reiner. He's an American tourist from Washington, D.C. who told me he's part of a group of eight Americans mainly college buddies and other mutual friends who are now stuck in Peru. This is how he described their situation speaking to us from Cusco.

MICHAEL REINER, AMERICAN STRANDED IN PERU: It's surreal to be a tourist in a country where there is political unrest taking place before our eyes.

It's a whole new way of experiencing a country. The context for that for us is there is something bigger happening here than just our travel experience.

ROMO: Peruvian authorities have confirmed the Cusco airport has reopened. This is good news for people trapped there trying to catch a connecting flight to Lima, the capital, to leave the country.

And just to give you an idea about how popular Peru is as an international destination, more than half a million foreign tourists visited the country in the first five months of the year according to government figures.

Rafael Romo, CNN -- Atlanta.


WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead, multiple criminal referral may be coming for former President Donald Trump. The January 6th committee is expected to announce at least three referrals to the Justice Department this week. Details of what's to come next.

Plus, more than 5 million people under winter weather alerts this morning and thousands are in the dark as a nor'easter barrels up the coast. We'll bring you the forecast straight ahead.



WHITFIELD: All right. We are following major new developments involving former President Donald Trump. The House Select Committee investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol is expected to refer at least three criminal charges against Trump to the Justice Department, including insurrection. We will hear the panel's final recommendation during its last hearing scheduled for Monday.

CNN's Annie Grayer joining us right now. So Annie, what more are you learning about these referrals?

ANNIE GRAYER, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, Fredricka, we know that the January 6th Committee is considering asking the Department of Justice to pursue at least three criminal charges against former President Donald Trump and those three charges are: obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the federal government and insurrection.

These charges will be presented if the committee ultimately decides on these three -- and we are told there could be even more -- that these will be presented on Monday at 1:00 p.m., the committee's last final public meeting of its investigation.

During this meeting the committee will also be voting to release its final report which we're expecting to come out on Wednesday.

Now, back to the criminal referrals, the Department of Justice will definitely take a look at whatever the committee sends over because the two sides have not really shared much since both investigations have been underway, particularly the DOJ will be interested in what evidence the committee has to back up these potential criminal charges.

But some of these charges specifically relating to Trump have been out there previously. A federal judge has said that he believes that Donald Trump may have obstructed an official proceeding in an earlier court case involving the January 6th Committee.

But just to take a step back here, a criminal referral from the January 6th Committee to the Department of Justice will largely be symbolic in nature because the Department of Justice already has ongoing criminal probes into January 6th.

But if the members get up there on Monday and say definitively that they believe that their investigation, their 17-months-long investigation with over 1,000 witness interviews, specifically piecing together every minute-by-minute of Donald Trump's actions on the day of January 6th, if they say after all of that they believe they have evidence of Donald Trump committing a crime, that is a powerful closing message, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: It is indeed. All right. Annie Grayer, thanks so much for that breakdown.

And of course, we will watch that final hearing on Monday.

All right. Coming up, Russia unleashes a series of missile attacks on Ukraine knocking out power to thousands in the bitter temperatures. We are live in the region next.



WHITFIELD: Power, heat and water are slowly being restored in Ukraine following Russia's latest wave of missile attacks on the country's infrastructure. Ukrainian officials say at least 76 Russian missiles were fired in recent days knocking out power and water supplies in several cities.

They say the strikes hit at least nine power facilities and killed four civilians, including an 18-month-old boy. Search crews pulled several children from the rubble of a home hit by a missile, including this emotional moment where a young girl is rescued from the debris holding her teddy bear.


CNN's Will Ripley joining us now from southern Ukraine. So Will, it seems like that moment is being repeated over and over again. What are you seeing there?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, the goal of the Russians seems to be to try to break the will of the Ukrainian people by, you know, not only inflicting suffering on the troops on the front lines by relentless shelling and rocket attacks, but everyone across the country by trying to knock out the power grid and heat so that they sit in the dark and they freeze.

And to see scenes like that, you know, to hear about, you know, a father, you know, sobbing in front of the pile of rubble where his daughter and her young family lived and then for them to pull her out and then pull her child out dead, I will tell you though it's not breaking the will of the people here. Not one bit.

It makes them angry. It makes them determined to fight harder through this winter. But it doesn't break their will. And each time that Russia does this, that feeling of resistance seems to grow.


RIPLEY: And you can feel it in just conversations with people. You can see it in these videos from these horribly hit areas. Kryvyi Rih where the -- you know, that young family died, they took the brunt of it.

Russia fired 76 missiles and Ukraine with its existing missile defense, which is using outdated equipment and it's pretty not -- you know, not as effective as certainly Patriots, which are hopefully on the way in the coming months, the Ukrainians say -- still they shot down 60 of them. But 16 of those missiles did reach their targets.

And every time that a missile strikes a civilian target, whether it be the power grid, whether it be a water station, whether it be a heating boiler, it takes time, it takes money to repair that, it takes a lot of people sitting through very difficult conditions, conditions that are getting more difficult by the day as the winter sets in.

And then sometimes when those missiles hit people's home and families die and children die, as they have been dying throughout this war, this unnecessary and brutal and unprovoked war by Russia by Vladimir Putin, it's not breaking the will of the people. It's just making them more and more determined to fight back even harder. And that's the sense that we get on the ground here, Fred. WHITFIELD: And then Will, just looking at, you know, these images

while you have in this shot there are some machinery that's helping largely while people are in the midst of battle, they are also removing debris by hand. Big chunks of concrete metal to see, you know, if they can get to people who need to be rescued.

I mean, so you talk about the resolve of the will of the people. I mean, this surviving, you know, and enduring. Extraordinary.

RIPLEY: Pure grit. Yes, it is just -- it is -- you see so much strength. You see strength in the people that are picking up chunks of debris.

You see strength in the eyes of the women in those kitchens cooking over Woodstoves to feed the rest of the neighborhood because they can't cook at home and they want them to be fed.

You see strength in the children who are sitting underground in subway stations for hours and hours and missing school and just want to go home because they are cold but they are still soldiering through it.

That strength is being shown every day by people here. And you know, situations like this, adversity like this does make people grow stronger. It doesn't break them. It's making them grow stronger.

And that's one thing that you hear over and over again from Ukrainians is that, you know, we're brave, we're strong, we're Ukrainian. I mean the national pride here -- the national pride of any country that comes under attack from -- in such an unfair way always unifies people. People that might be divided over little petty political things, they come together in situations like this and they certainly are here in Ukraine.

WHITFIELD: They are waiting, they are praying and they remain hopeful for a better day for this invasion to end.

Will Ripley, thank you so much.

All right. Joining me right now to talk more about Russia's war on Ukraine is General Wesley Clark. He is a CNN military analyst and a former NATO supreme allied commander. Good to see you.

So what do you make of Russia's ongoing strategy? We have been talking about this for a while. They are only, you know, upping the ante on targeting civilian infrastructure, making it more miserable, taking out the power grid.

Talk to us about this strategy. I mean, Russia thinks it's working.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Russia needed this strategy to keep the pressure on Ukraine. And so it's an anti- humanitarian strategy.

But Fredricka, let's also be clear. It's making it much more complicated for Ukraine to modify its industrial complex and produce the weapons and ammunition that Ukraine needs to continue the war. So it also puts much more burden on the west. We've got to supply the

artillery rounds and the other equipment that Ukraine would like to be able to produce but is having trouble producing for this very reason.

And you know, our correspondent said that the people in Ukraine are angry. Well, the people in America should be angry about this. This is an assault on humanity and yet our own people -- our military experts, our government bureaucrats, our intelligence agencies have consistently underestimated Ukraine's determination to resist, and the character and quality of its armed forces.

And so we withheld critical military assistance step by step. We've said we believe in a long strategy, but Ukraine is right now almost at a make-or-break moment, Fredricka. We need to give them what they need to resume offensive operations.

They need artillery ammunition, they need tanks, they need armored personnel carriers. They need the long-range missiles, the (INAUDIBLE). They need the long-range drones, the Switchblade 600 drones.

All of this has been held back by the United States for a variety of reasons. Maybe because they don't have the infrastructure to maintain it, that's what we say. But consistently we've underestimated their innovation capacity.


CLARK: And they know right now that Russia's building up another force to conduct another major offensive sometime in the spring, maybe in the summer, maybe with another 200,000 -- 300,000 Russian troops.

Russia's mobilizing. Ukraine is trying to mobilize but it's really dependent on us. And so, you know, we're afraid of the potential of escalation to nuclear weapons. And that's been what's held us back from providing Ukraine the assistance we need.

But we are going to have to make the decision in the near term to raise our tolerance of risk on this and give Ukraine more of what it needs or we're going to be facing a problem that's the opposite, that Ukraine is going to end up unable to cope with the next Russian military offensive.

WHITFIELD: So in the interim then, how impactful will it be, in your view, what CNN is learning that the Biden administration is finalizing plans to send the Patriot missile defense system to help Ukraine? How potentially impactful will that be?

CLARK: It's very helpful. But the Patriot is still a point defense system. It's not like you are going to have a net all over Ukraine that is going to stop all these (INAUDIBLE). You can put them where they can protect Kyiv, they can protect (INAUDIBLE) that you saw on other critical points, but you are not going to cover all of Ukraine.

And it's a defensive weapon and the Russians are, obviously, going to target it and it's going to take weeks, if not months, to get it there.

So yes, it's a big decision, but Ukraine needs other things. And it needs the tanks, the artillery, the ammunition, also needs maintenance capacity. And we could be strengthening their maintenance capacity more than we have done so far.

They've got maybe a third of their western-supplied artillery is inoperative at any given time. It has to be brought back to Poland in many cases to be repaired. Surely we can help them work their way through that.

But there are so many opportunities here. And I know Secretary Austin and General Milley are working really hard on this. I know they are doing their best. But somehow we have to do more and I think we have to have the decisions at the highest levels of the U.S. government that recognize the urgency of the situation that Ukraine is in.

This is not steady state. The elation of having taken back the northeast and seizing Kherson, ok. But that's over.

Russia's rebuilding its forces. It's mobilizing. This is moving towards a make-or-break moment for Ukraine. We have to recognize it and take the appropriate actions.

WHITFIELD: And I heard you loud and clear, you're making a forecast through the spring and perhaps even summer. You know, It's hard for people to even envision just enduring this winter and to think that this still might be going on into the summer. I mean that's even more unsettling, isn't it?

CLARK: Yes, it is. And Fredricka, the thing is that there is no indication that Mr. Putin has changed his overall objectives. And the way it works in Russia is he gets stronger as he loses forces because he calls on more and more sacrifices. He's got control of the information space in Russia.

The Russian people really don't understand what they are doing to Ukraine. They don't understand it's their fault. They don't see the brotherhood between these people that we in the west would hope would emerge from it. They are in a complete information cocoon and we have been unable to break that and really tell the truth to the Russian people.

It's another theater of conflict, you might say, and we are not winning that theater.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Well, we're going to leave it there for now. General Wesley Clark, really appreciate your insight and wisdom. Thank you so much. Good to see you.

CLARK: Thank you, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right. A powerful nor'easter is pushing its way across this country. More than 5 million people are under winter weather alerts right now. Where the storm is heading next, straight ahead.



WHITFIELD: All right. Right now, more than five million people in parts of the Midwest and northeast are under winter weather alerts as a powerful storm pushes east. The nor'easter dumped nearly two feet of snow in portions of New England over the last 36 hours, leaving thousands without power. And more heavy snow is expected, then bitter cold will settle in for millions of Americans.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is tracking the storm, Allison.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that's right. Let's take a look where we still have some snow left because it is still snowing as of right now. This is a very slow-moving system and it just doesn't really want to exit the region all that quickly.

So you've got snow still coming down across areas of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine. You also have some lake effect for several states right there along the Great Lakes.

But again any snow that they get today is going to be on top of what they have already had really the last few hours. Looking at New York, Vermont and Maine -- all three of these states have some areas that have picked up over two feet of snow. Even portions of New Hampshire and Massachusetts topping out at over one foot.

Here is the thing. Again, as we go through the rest of the day today and into the evening tonight, you are still going to have a lot of that lake effect that's going to be a concern because those strong winds coming out of the west not just today, but again also into tomorrow.

Now, most areas likely picking up about 4 to 6 inches of additional snowfall. But there will be a couple of spots, especially upstate New York and portions of Pennsylvania, right there on the lake that could pick up an additional foot of snow on top of what they've already had.

The thing after that is the cold air that really starts so set in place. It begins in the high plains and then really spreads across much of the country over the next several days, and much of the upcoming week.


CHINCHAR: Take Minneapolis, for example. High of 21 today, which is still below their normal. But by the time we get to the end of the week, now you are talking about those high temperatures that may not even reach beyond zero degrees.

And again Fred, even some southern cities going to be getting in the mix. Atlanta going from a high of 52 Thursday down to the mid-20s by Friday.

WHITFIELD: Oh my gosh, that is bitter and brutal cold. All right. Allison Chinchar, thanks so much. All right. Despite wild weather and high ticket costs from inflation,

major airlines are saying good-bye to some of their perks just in time for the holiday rush.

CNN's Pete Muntean has the story.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Stephanie Ogbogu is a proud frequent flyer, now frequently frustrated by the airlines.

STEPHANIE OGBOGU, FREQUENT FLYER: They wanted us to take advantage of travel and then we finally do and it's like oh, wait, wait, wait, now it's too much.

MUNTEAN: Stephanie is just one of Delta Airlines' loyalists fuming over new rules. Next year, the company is making it harder to get into its more than 50 Sky Club lounges at airports worldwide.

Delta cites customers upset over lines outside and crowded seating inside, telling frequent flyers we have made the difficult decision to implement new policies that we believe will preserve the experience our guests deserve.

SCOTT KEYES, SCOTT'S CHEAP FLIGHTS: I think this is the start of a trend.

MUNTEAN: Scott Keyes (ph) of Scott's Cheap Flights says airlines are cutting back on perks now that travel numbers are back near pre- pandemic levels.

United Airlines is anticipating end of year holiday travel even bigger than this past Thanksgiving. Next year it will raise the bar on earning frequent flyer status, making it harder to get free upgrades and fees waived.

KEYES: It's going to be much more difficult to get into lounges, much more difficult to renew elite status and much more difficult to redeem their frequent flyer miles for a free trip.

MUNTEAN: A Delta flight from LAX to JFK over spring break would typically cost you 25,000 frequent flyer miles for an economy seat. Now Scott's Cheap Flights says it will cost more than twice that -- 52,000 miles.

BILL MCGEE, AMERICAN ECONOMIC LIBERTIES PROJECT: I think, you know, we're at a tipping point.

MUNTEAN: Consumer advocates say earning miles has never been easier thanks to airline credit cards but now redeeming miles is getting tougher.

MCGEE: You enter these programs in good faith and you invest in them for years and years and you find that the goalposts are a lot further away than they were when you started. OGBOGU: Airlines, they're are missing the mark here. I hope that they

listen to the consumer and they really think about some of the decisions that they are making at the top level.

MUNTEAN: Travel experts say there is some real winners and losers here. The winners are those with airline credit cards and mega status already. But the losers are those right on the cusp of achieving status at their favorite airline.

The latest carrier to tweak its frequent flyer program, American Airlines, starting in March, will make it harder to get to its gold level. It was 30,000. Now that will go up to 40,000 points, making it harder to get free upgrades and free checked bags.


WHITFIELD: Darn. Just in time, huh? Pete Muntean, thank you so much.

All right. Coming up, it's a family affair that many didn't think possible. Tiger Woods is back competing in another championship and this time doing it right alongside his 13-year-old son. A look at their game so far next.



WHITFIELD: Golf fans saw a familiar duo yesterday at the PNC championship, seeing double in matching outfits, ensembles there, Tiger Woods and his son, Charlie, were on the course together playing in the tournament for the second year in a row. The pair generated a whole lot of buzz Friday while competing at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando.

CNN's Andy Scholes has details. So Andy, how did they do yesterday?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well Fredricka, watching Tiger play alongside his son, Charlie, it's always so much fun. They have many of the same mannerisms. And Charlie, who is 13 now, he went through a growth spurt.

Check out the pictures from this year compared to last year. Charlie considerably bigger, getting close to as tall as dad now. Both Tiger and Charlie were actually walking with a bit of a limp yesterday during the Pro-Am. Charlie rolled his ankle on the driving range while Tiger is, of course, still dealing with his recovery.

He's also been dealing with plantar fasciitis, but he says playing through the pain is worth it to be out there with his son.


TIGER WOODS, GOLF PLAYER: I think being there with and alongside my son is far more important and getting a chance to have these experiences with him is far better than my foot being a little creaky.


SCHOLES: Tiger and Charlie tee off at 12:17 eastern in Orlando. And Fredricka, I was there for the tournament last year when they came in second place, and that was Tiger's first tournament since his car accident.

You know, watching them last year, I mean, you could tell Charlie really wants to win this tournament alongside his dad.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh. Mirror images. That is just so special. Thank you so much, Andy Scholes.

All right. Still ahead, a triple threat of viruses -- RSV, the flu, and now COVID numbers are ticking up at an alarming rate just in time for holiday gatherings. What you need to know to stay safe this holiday season straight ahead.


WHITFIELD: And this programming note. On an all-new "THIS IS LIFE", Lisa Ling explores how the pandemic pushed casual drinking into the disease of addiction.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I drank for 32 years. This is very deeply conditioned that we need to have these substances in order to do everything, right. In order to have fun with our friends, go to sporting events -- this is what we've been taught in our society.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so we're here to prove that that's not the case, and we're finding that it's not.

LISA LING, CNN HOST: To what do you attribute the explosive growth of nonalcoholic products?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we think is there's actually a lot more people out there who are in recovery or haven't drank for a long time and they just don't have anywhere to go. And now they do, and we see them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a stigma around people who choose not to drink. We automatically think there's something wrong with them.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We really want to make it cool to not drink.

LING: Cheers.



WHITFIELD: All right. "THIS IS LIFE with LISA LING" tomorrow night at 9:00 right here on CNN.