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No Prison Time For Man Who Sexually Assaulted Four Girls; Fox News To Air Rittenhouse Interview With Tucker Carlson Monday; Terra Grata Provides Clean Energy And Safe Water To Poor Areas. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired November 21, 2021 - 06:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Buenos dias. Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Boris Sanchez.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Boris. I'm Christi Paul.

Listen, police are on the hunt this morning for a man who caused a panic at the Atlanta airport.

The latest on that accidental gun discharge that sent passengers running as you see there. They've been spilled out onto the tarmac.

SANCHEZ: Plus, a sprawling winter storm blanketing much of the eastern United States as millions prepare to travel for the thanksgiving holiday. We're tracking all the latest weather for you.

PAUL: And consolidating power. The efforts by Republican controlled state legislatures to push through new congressional maps and what it means for the 2022 midterms.

SANCHEZ: Plus, Chinese state media releasing a new video they claim shows missing tennis star Peng Shuai alive and well, but there's still a lot of unanswered questions.

So grateful that you're with us this Sunday, November 21st. Thanks for waking up with us. Good morning, Christi.

PAUL: Good morning to you. Yes, we are always -- it's always good to know that we're not alone here, right, Boris? Even if it's early on a Sunday.

So this was a crazy scene, the chaos and confusion at the busiest airport in the U.S. Atlanta police are now this morning looking for the man who escaped Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport after his weapon discharged.

SANCHEZ: The gun went off yesterday afternoon at a security checkpoint, and it sparked fears of an active shooter. That temporarily grounded flights. The incident sent frightened travelers scrambling as you can see in these videos. Thousands of people running through the terminals, leaving behind their luggage and loved ones. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard that somebody say, "Active shooter. Get out." And that's when everyone start running away really hard. People were dropping their bags.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Into everyone was dropping their suitcases. Folks were running in any possible direction away from what we thought was the center of action. People were sliding under rails and jumping over barricades, just trying to get out of what we thought was harm's way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People just came flying through and just were like run, run, run. And then people were just running. And we all just ran outside this door right here and made our way across to the side of the airport. And just -- it was organized chaos.


SANCHEZ: Authorities have identified a suspect, though he did get away from the scene. CNN's Nadia Romero reports.


NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A terrifying event Saturday afternoon at the busiest airport in the U.S. after a passenger's gun goes off. Thanksgiving week travelers were lined up at the main checkpoint at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport when the sound of a gunshot sparked panic. Crowds scrambled and spilled outside of the terminal.

ROBERT SPINDEN, TSA FEDERAL SECURITY DIRECTOR: That he was at the main security checkpoint but it's -- it's -- I don't know where he was traveling to.

ROMERO: Authorities say a passenger reached inside of his bag after a TSA agent began searching it and in doing so discharged the firearm. Authorities said in a press conference that after the discharge the man was able to flee the security checkpoint with the firearm. They identified the passenger as 42-year-old Kenny Wells.

CMDR. REGINALD L. MOORMAN, ATLANTA POLICE AIRPORT PRECINCT: We have taken out warrants for carrying a concealed weapon at a commercial airport, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, discharging a firearm, and reckless conduct. We are actively pursuing this individual as we speak.

ROMERO: Three people were injured as other passengers scrambled to flee the scene. Atlanta police provided details about the three injuries saying one person requested EMS from a fall that occurred away from the screening area in the airport's atrium and two others complained of a shortness of breath.

The TSA says its officers have found more than 450 firearms at Atlanta checkpoints so far in 2021. And the TSA reports catching 4,650 firearms at checkpoints nationwide in the first 10 months of this year. A majority of those weapons were loaded. [06:05:02]

Nadia Romero, CNN, Atlanta.


SANCHEZ: Thanks to Nadia Romero for that report. Obviously, the scene was complicated because of so much travel for the holiday. And as Thanksgiving travelers hit the road the TSA announced that Friday was the highest checkpoint volume for a single day since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 2 million airline travelers screened across the United States.

PAUL: Now despite breaking pandemic records, air travel is still a bit shy of the more than 2.5 million screened on the same day in 2019. We know this year the agency expects more than 20 million people to travel over a 10-day Thanksgiving period. So if you are one of them please be careful out there.

The significant storm system too that we're talking about is moving through parts of the country and it could cause some travel headaches for a lot of people this week, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Let's get to straight to CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar. She's live from the weather center. Allison, yesterday we were talking about packing your patience because there are going to be some headaches out there.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that's going -- and it's all going to start today. We've got a variety of things to talk about, snow, rain and some very windy conditions. And if you've flown before wind really is going to be the biggest of those three concerns in terms of flying, but driving all of these are going to likely have impacts.

In terms of flying, Minneapolis, Chicago, Cincinnati stretching down to Memphis, those are going to be your big delay spots at least in the first half of the day. By tonight, Houston, Atlanta, D.C., New York and Boston because that's where the storm begins to make its way by tonight. We do also have some areas of showers and thunderstorms in south Florida too unrelated to this main system but that could cause some delays in Miami.

Here's a look at where that system is expected to be by about 4:00 today. So moving through Cincinnati, just now starting to push through Nashville, Little Rock and around Pittsburgh. Then by tonight this is where you start to see it head towards Charlotte, into Atlanta. And then it's morning time tomorrow that really begins to peak for a lot of east coast cities, like Boston, New York, even down towards Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. But that system finally moves out by late Monday.

But look at this, the wind starts to set up and because of it you're going to have some pretty intense lake-effect snow bands. If you have got to drive through some of those areas please keep that in mind. Here's a look at the wind Monday, one we're talking about. There's that strong crosswind right there over the lakes. But this next system moving in for the middle of the week that's the one we're concerned about causing some really big airline delays, especially for Chicago, St. Louis, stretching all the way down to Dallas, Boris and Christi, because of how strong those winds are expected to be.

SANCHEZ: Yes. I'm actually planning to head to the airport in a couple hours, so I may be sitting at the bar for a while --

CHINCHAR: Pack that patience, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Indulging in some liquid patience for sure. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much.

PAUL: Everybody be warned if you see Boris in the airport, right? All right.

Listen, the CDC is recommending that everyone 18 and older get a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccines six months after their second shot. And this is really good news ahead of obviously all the holidays as new COVID cases are climbing in some hot spots across the country, one being Michigan.

CDC data shows it's having the worst COVID outbreak in the nation. Cases there rising at an alarming rate and hospitals statewide are starting to feel the pressure.

Dr. Rob Davidson has been so gracious to be with us through this pandemic and help us understand what's happening where he is. He's an emergency room physician in West Michigan and also the executive director of the Committee to Protect Public Health.

So, the headline I saw in "The Detroit Free Press" earlier this morning was that your state is the worst, that the hospitals are pushed to capacity, that the number of COVID patients climbed almost 50 percent just in the last month. So bring us into your experience right now. What are you seeing at the hospital?

DR. ROB DAVIDSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT HEALTH CARE: Listen, for us in West Michigan, it's been three or four weeks like this. We've kind of led the state, unfortunately, in these grim statistics. Our hospitals have been full. We've had at least two weeks where every shift I go in there's, you know, a quarter to half of the emergency department that I work in is filled with patients waiting for beds that don't exist.

Truly our ICU capacity and entire system throughout the entire west side of the state is at about 140 percent of what its maximum would be. Now we have expanded capacity, you know, so we can take on all those patients but it's -- you know, who knows where this is going to go.

We've got Thanksgiving. We've got cold weather. We've got Christmas. We're all looking at the peak hopefully being sometime around Christmas, but that's another, you know, five weeks from now. So it's been -- it's been a challenge.

PAUL: It feels like deja vu, it sounds like. Because I feel like we had this conversation last year heading into Christmas, that we were expecting this holiday peak. I think most people cannot begin to imagine what this is like for your medical teams. How are they holding up right now?

DAVIDSON: So, a couple things. You know, we certainly have had staff leave throughout the pandemic just because of being stressed out over work and so that's put a crunch on the -- on the number of hours people are working.


What I have seen and what I want to impress upon people is the camaraderie between different services. You know, ER docs working in the ICU. Hospitalist coming down to the ER and taking care of patients. Nurses going from OB down to the ER. I mean, it's -- it's been truly amazing to see everyone kind of, you know, circle the wagons and take care of the folks that we know we need to take care of.

But, you know, that probably gets to a point where it can't go on any longer. So I hope we don't get to that point. And really the message is please get vaccinated, please be safe if you're not vaccinated because, you know, it's just no telling, you know, where we go next.

PAUL: So as I understand it again, the reason for a good chunk of this besides the fact that we're in the season when people often will get ill, but the majority of the people there, that are there for COVID are unvaccinated?

DAVIDSON: Yes. We're looking at around 90 percent. I think, if you look at the people on ventilators, it's 97 percent are unvaccinated. And even the folks who are vaccinated, anyone that I've seen are people who have had their last dose of the vaccine more than six months ago.

So some of them are already qualify for boosters. And one person I talked to was about to get her booster and got tested, had a little sniffle and turned out had COVID, wasn't terribly sick because had been previously vaccinated, didn't get admitted to the hospital. But this is why this decision by the CDC, the FDA telling us that booster -- everybody over 18 is so critically important we need people to go do that.

PAUL: Dr. Rob Davidson, we always think of you and appreciate everything that all of you are doing to keep everybody safe and healthy. Thank you so much. Best of luck to you and happy Thanksgiving.

DAVIDSON: Thanks, Christi. Thanks. Same to you.

SANCHEZ: Still ahead on NEW DAY, gaming the system, how some say the Republican Party is stacking the deck in its favor ahead of the crucial 2022 midterms. Plus, a man admits to raping four teenage girls. He winds up getting no jail time. We'll hear from one of his victims and her attorney in the case.



PAUL: Fifteen minutes past the hour right now. And across the country state legislatures are redrawing congressional maps to reflect the 2020 census results. But redistricting is also an opportunity for gerrymandering, drawing maps to benefit a particular party or a candidate.

SANCHEZ: And as you can imagine both parties claim the other side is using it to their advantage and some minority groups say they are not being well represented. CNN's Tom Foreman has details.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the Wisconsin state assembly Republicans are fighting for their new election plan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our proposal is a fair map.

FOREMAN: But it's already been vetoed by the Democratic governor who is pushing his own plan.

GOV. TONY EVERS (D-WI): The gerrymandered maps Republicans passed a decade ago have enabled legislators to safely ignore the people who elected them. And these maps here, they're more of the same.

FOREMAN: And some minority groups are furious at both the GOP and the governor.

SYLVA ORTIZ-VELEZ (D), WISCONSIN STATE ASSEMBLY: These maps are illegal and a perversion of justice that cannot stand.

FOREMAN: Across the country, the fierce fight over drawing new election maps in the wake of the census favors Republicans who control more legislatures and governorships. And political analysts say the new maps alone could help them pick up the five seats they need to take back the majority in Congress. For example, explosive growth in principally the Latino population has given Texas two new congressional seats, but while Republican lawmakers say --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The maps were drawn blind to race.

FOREMAN: Their new maps have White voters in the majority in three times as many districts as Latinos.

LYDIA CAMARILLO, TEXAS REDISTRICTING TASK FORCE: If we don't take -- pay attention to this and we don't demand that Latinos are represented, we will find ourselves with no representation.

FOREMAN: In Ohio, the Republican Party won almost 55 percent of the vote a year ago, but the new map could hand them 12 congressional seats, the Democrats three.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our red wave is coming at you like a freight train.

FOREMAN: North Carolina is about evenly split, but a new map would give Republicans such an edge. Long-serving Congressman G.K. Butterfield will now not seek re-election in his once reliably blue district.

REP. G.K. BUTTERFIELD (D-NC): It's racially gerrymandered. It will disadvantage African-American communities all across the first congressional district.

FOREMAN: And in Georgia, where Democratic incumbents hold just six of 14 seats in the House of Representatives, the new map pits two of the Dems against each other.

(On camera): And almost certainly the courts will decide a lot of these questions. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


SANCHEZ: Thanks, Tom.

Let's talk to someone who has been closely following the redistricting process in one of those Republican led states. Anna Staver of "The Columbus Dispatch" covers politics in Ohio. Anna, thanks for joining us in this morning.

Governor Mike DeWine just signed into law this new congressional map that was drawn by Republican lawmakers. It makes it more likely, perhaps not coincidently, for Republicans to win as many as 13 of 15 districts in 2022. Critics have argued that it was an unfair process, some folks claiming that it dilutes the power of minority voters. Is there evidence that race played a role in drawing this new map?

ANNA STAVER, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Well, Republicans say that they didn't look at race when drawing the maps, but Democrats and some voting rights groups have a very different opinion. If you take Hamilton County, that's in the southwest corner of our state where Cincinnati is, Republicans will tell you that for the first time in 100 years the city of Cincinnati is in one district.


And that's true, but the county itself is split into three different districts. And what they're arguing is that by splitting it into three different districts you've actually divided up the Black community in that area and into those three separate districts and sort of diluted their vote there. They call it cracking, so packing and cracking.

And then up in northeast Ohio, Representative Stephanie Howse, she's a state House representative here, made the point that Oakwood, which is a Cleveland suburb and it's a predominantly Black neighborhood got split, where as the two Whiter neighborhoods near Oakwood were not split. They were kept in the same district.

SANCHEZ: So the Republicans have argued that no seats changed party hands in a decade, and that this new map makes for more competitive races. Do you get the sense that they're really out to make it more competitive?

STAVER: Well, I think it depends on how you define competitive. So they define it within eight points, so 46 to 54. But when you look at what that actually means -- so like in District 10 which is southwest Ohio, that's a difference of 54,000 votes in favor of the Republicans.

And so what Democrats say is, that's a big hill to climb. So it technically falls in the window of what you might define as competitive but it would take sort of a wave election year where everything broke in the Democrats' favor. That's why they say, look, we really think this map is 13-2.

SANCHEZ: So it seems like this entire process is going to wind up being redone again in 2024. The map was passed without support from Democrats according to Ohio law, they have to basically blow it up and start again. Do you get the sense that the process may play out differently in 2024?

STAVER: I think it depends on who is in charge in 2024 and I think the Republicans are banking on that being them. Yes, the four-year maps were supposed to be sort of the stick, like, you know, that incentivized lawmakers to create a bipartisan map, but it actually ended up being like a way for them to just pass it without -- without bipartisan support.

SANCHEZ: So in terms of what legal challenges are out there, do you anticipate that any of them might stick? Is there any other path for some of these voting rights groups or critics of the new map to take to try to make change happen?

STAVER: Well, they have three options. So they have a federal lawsuit which would be like the voting rights, the arguments of the minority communities, then there would be a state constitutional challenge, and then the third option actually is because this was an actual bill that passed through our legislature, voters can actually collect signatures for a referendum. So we'll just have to wait and see which path they choose or if maybe they take like multiple paths and challenge it at the federal level amnesty level.

SANCHEZ: So we've heard around the country members of Congress that have announced that they're not going to seek re-election next year because of redistricting and new congressional maps that make it difficult for them to get elected. Have you heard from any members of Congress in Ohio that may decide to opt out of running because of a difficult primary or a difficult process to get elected with these new maps?

STAVER: Not yet. However, Marcy Kaptur, to keep in mind, she's the longest serving woman in Congress. She had that famous "snake on the lake" district here. The way it configures for her now, it's a pretty challenging road for her, given the way the district is shaped. So we'll have to kind of see how that goes for her.

SANCHEZ: Ana Staver, we appreciate you walking us through that. We know you will be watching this story. Thanks so much.

STAVER: Thank you.

PAUL: So a community in upstate New York is demanding answers as an admitted rapist gets no jail time. It's a shocking sentence that was handed down to a 20-year-old who sexually assaulted four teen girls. We'll talk about this. Stay close.



PAUL: In this morning's legal brief an admitted rapist will not spend any time in prison for his crimes. Twenty-year-old Chris Belter was given eight years probation for sexually assaulting four teenage girls during several parties hosted at his parents' house.

Now according to CNN affiliate WKBW Belter has to register as a sex offender. The judge in the case, Matthew Murphy, reportedly retiring next month, by the way, saying he -- quote -- "agonized" over the case and concluded that incarceration -- quote -- "would be inappropriate." One of his victims warns that she believes Belter will rape again.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't believe it for one second. I will have to live with this for the rest of my life. Knowing that he's walking the streets and that another girl can be a victim of his any day now, it's terrifying.

I don't think we'll find that closure until we know that he's locked up and the judge failed us there. He is putting us through hell.


PAUL: And moments after the sentencing an attorney for one of Belter's victims expressed his frustration with the judge's leniency.


STEVE COHEN, ATTORNEY FOR ONE OF BELTER'S VICTIMS: He is privileged. He comes from money. He is white. He's being sentenced as an adult appropriately. And for an adult to get away with these crimes without doing jail time is unjust.


PAUL: Civil rights attorney and CNN legal analyst Areva Martin with us now. Areva, let's listen together here first of all to the judge when he was sentencing Christopher Belter.



JUDGE MATTHEW MURPHY, NIAGARA COUNTY COURT: I agonized. I am not ashamed to say that I actually prayed over what is the appropriate sentence in this case. Because there was great pain, there was great harm, there were multiple crimes committed in the case.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): This is a man who has admitted -- Christopher Belter admitted that he did this. He pled guilty. These were felony charges. He's charged as an adult. What's your gut reaction to all of this?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST (on camera): Really outrage, Christi. Unbelievable, incomprehensible, you know, statements by this judge. An abuse of his authority clearly, but we've seen this before. I wish I could say this is a first, it's not. We've seen many instances where white, wealthy defendants are given lighter sentences or no sentences at all, and merely because of their privilege, merely because of their socio economic status.

And this is a prime example of that. We can think of Ethan Couch, whose defense team introduced this whole concept of affluenza, a saying that because he had been raised without consequences, because of his wealth, that somehow he didn't deserve to be punished for his crime.

And we're seeing that play out again in this case. And I think what's so devastating for me about this case, as a mother of two daughters is the involvement of the parents.

The parents have also been charged. They apparently gave the four victims alcohol, marijuana, and encouraged, and somehow participated in endangering the lives of these teenagers.

PAUL: Yes, we should point out they are -- the mother, the stepfather, and a family friend, are pleading not guilty to misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and unlawfully dealing with a child.

What evidence needs to be present to convict those parents? And even if they're not convicted, obviously, there's an issue within the family here, at least on the surface it looks like allegedly.

MARTIN: Absolutely, Christi. Yes, I think the evidence that apparently has come forward in this trial is evidence that they provided alcohol to minors if they provided perhaps even marijuana to minors. If they created the environment that they were knowledgeable in the fact that their son was sexually assaulting girls in their home, and that they did nothing about it.

So, I think there is sufficient evidence. Obviously, there was sufficient evidence to constitute probable cause to justify an arrest in these cases, with respect to the mother, to stepfather, and, as you said, an adult friend of the family.

But this notion of justice in our country, I think, has been under the spotlight this entire week. And we see that there is a dual justice system. And in this case, is both implicit and explicit bias are working in favor of this defendant.

PAUL: Yes, the police say that the adults in that home actually -- this is from police, that they groomed the girls for sexual assault. I want to listen to -- well, I tell you we don't have the sound, but Belter's attorney Barry Covert, argued that his client is quote, tremendously remorseful for what he's done.

And he went on to say this, "There are clients who are never able to empathize with their victims no matter how much counselling they receive. Chris isn't one of them.

Do you think that assertion had anything to do with this sentence? And do you think this is a man who is still a danger?

MARTIN: I'll answer both questions and say the, the statement of remorse should not have had anything to do with whether he was held accountable. Our criminal justice system sometimes will allow victims -- I mean, defendants in this case, their actions, their conduct can be a mitigating factor. But it should not have been sufficient factor to allow him to avoid punishment for his admitted crimes.

And whether he's dangerous or not, I think we heard from that victim, she thinks absolutely that he is dangerous. And knowing that he has not been held accountable, that he does not face the same kind of sentence, the same kind of punishment, that someone without his wealth, without his status, without his, you know, his whiteness would face, I think is horrible statement about our criminal justice system. And sends a horrible statement to him that he can engage in this kind of conduct again, without fear of consequence.

PAUL: I'm running out of time, but just a quick yes or no here. Do you believe civil charges could be forthcoming?

MARTIN: Absolutely.

PAUL: OK. Areva Martin, we appreciate it so much. Yes, I mean, the judge could have given eight years in prison. He gave him eight years probation. We appreciate your, your expertise and your thoughts. Thank you, ma'am.

MARTIN: Thanks, Christi.

PAUL: Of course.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): Now, we should note, Areva is going to be with us next hour to discuss the Ahmaud Arbery case as well. So, stay tuned for that.

And now the Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted on all charges, his first media appearance, perhaps, not surprisingly is going to be on Fox News.


SANCHEZ: Here, what his attorney and the news channel say about that. Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: Well, Kyle Rittenhouse is set to appear on Fox News tomorrow in his first interview since being found not guilty of all charges. The network announced to anchor Tucker Carlson will conduct the interview, followed by a full documentary that's happening In December.


SANCHEZ: Yes, here is a clip. Newly released of camera crews with Rittenhouse right after the verdict was announced. Watch this.


KYLE RITTENHOUSE, ACQUITTED IN KENOSHA SHOOTING TRIAL: The jury reached the correct verdict, self-defense is not illegal. And I believe they came to the correct verdict, and I'm glad that everything went well. And it's been a rough journey, but we made it through it.


SANCHEZ: And joining us now is CNN chief media correspondent and the host of "RELIABLE SOURCES", Brian Stelter. Good morning, Brian.

One of Rittenhouse's defense attorney said that he was uncomfortable with the access and the cameras.



SANCHEZ: How was Fox News able to get all this behind-the-scenes footage?

STELTER: Right. And then the attorney talked about the crowd-funded nature of the defense.


STELTER: Saying, you know, the people that were donating money, that, that was a part of the reason why the camera crews were there. The implication, of course, that this is all about fundraising and about financing the legal defense for Kyle Rittenhouse, and that raised questions about whether Fox News was helping funded the defense in order to get camera crews behind the scenes.

But Fox News now denying that, saying, in a statement to me, neither Fox Tucker Carlson or Tucker Carlson's documentary series, paid for any access, footage rights, legal fees, or made any other payments in the production of this upcoming documentary episode about the trial.

So, Fox is saying, hey, we are not part of the fundraising. But clearly what Rittenhouse's attorney is saying is that the existence of this camera crew in this documentary was about the fundraising effort, was a way to show donors where their money is going.

So, it's a really interesting example of how the far-right media is tied up with this trial, tied up with this case, and helping turn Rittenhouse into absolute hero on the right.

This is something you know that we've now ended one phase because the trial is over. But the -- you know, I don't think Kyle Rittenhouse is going to be leaving the public eye anytime soon. This Fox documentary won't even come out until next month.

PAUL: Brian, it's so interesting, Brian, because the attorney -- his attorney said on Friday, he expects him to get out of the spotlight and to move away for his own safety. So, this is counter to that completely.

STELTER: Yes, that's a good point. This is counter to that. And the most interesting thing I thought the attorney said was, he needs to learn how to say no.

PAUL: Yes.

STELTER: He needs to learn how to say no to people. You know, you're an 18-year-old, surrounded by all these voices, all these older voices, some of whom don't have your best intents at heart, and that is probably going to be a real challenge.

PAUL: Yes, good point. Brian Stelter, always appreciate you, especially getting up early.

SANCHEZ: Thanks, Brian.

PAUL: Thank you so much.

STELTER: Thanks.

PAUL: You see Brian all over our news all the time. Well, you can catch him on his show today at 11:00 a.m. "RELIABLE SOURCES".

SANCHEZ: After the break, there's reported new video of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai surfacing. The head of the Women's Tennis Association, though says it is not enough to prove that she is safe. A complex story ahead.

But first, a quick preview of tonight's new episode of "THIS IS LIFE" with Lisa Ling. Lisa investigates what happened when the Osage people of Oklahoma became some of the richest in the world. And then, when their wealth made them a target.


LISA LING, CNN HOST (voice-over): At the age of 21, Sybil was found dead. For more than a half-century, Sibyl's family and descendants thought she had died of kidney disease.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The story was that she died of some natural causes, and no one talked about it. Well, that's turned out was not the case.

LING: Years later, Connor's (PH) cousin, Dennis McAuliffe began to investigate his grandmother's death and discovered a discrepancy between the family lore and the official records. LING (on camera): And so, what was discovered about her actual death?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The facial death notice in the funeral home was a self-inflicted gunshot. That was a surprise everyone. No one knew that.



SANCHEZ: A powerful new episode of "THIS IS LIFE" with Lisa Ling airs tonight at 10:00 p.m., right here on CNN.


PAUL: Well, China's state-run media claim, newly released videos of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai show she's alive and well.

PAUL: (voice-over): Now, Peng initially disappeared after accusing one of China's most powerful former leaders of sexual assault. That was nearly three weeks ago.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): And you're looking at the video that was just released. CNN has not been able to independently verify when any of these newly released videos were taken. But notably, the Women's Tennis Association says the videos are not enough to prove that she is safe.

SANCHEZ (on camera): Let's go to CNN's Kristie Lu Stout. She's live for us from Hong Kong. And Kristie, apparently these videos coming from a teenage tennis match that she reportedly attended. Is that correct?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Yes. So, let's give you some context about these fresh new images that are coming in. And they are all sent by individuals who have links to Chinese state media. And they sent them on Twitter which mind you is banned, not available inside mainland China. So, the intended audience is for the international audience, for the Western audience to see this.


LU STOUT: In a series of clips that was released earlier today, like the one that you're looking at right now, we see what it appears to be, Peng Shuai, at a youth tennis tournament in Beijing. She is signing autographs to her young fans there. This followed footage that was sent out yesterday, purportedly, of Peng Shuai at a popular Sichuanese government restaurant in Beijing. In one 45-minute -- second clip, she is seen sitting at a table next to a Chinese tennis tournament director and two other women.

In this 45 second clip, she is not speaking, but the other people at the table are making sure to say November the 21st, which is of course today's date.

LU STOUT (voice-over): Look, it is been almost three weeks since November the second that was when Peng Shuai made that accusation against a very powerful man, the former vice-premier of China, Zhang Gaoli, accusing him of forcing her to have sex. She made that post and her verified, seen at Weibo social media platform posts.

LU STOUT (on camera): Within 30 minutes, that was taken down. She has been under blanket censorship then.

And in addition to that, coverage about her allegations, you cannot see that online in social media or state-run media in China. Of course, the Women's Tennis Association continues to be concerned about her welfare, they've said that they're willing to pull their business out of China unless that her case, her allegations are properly investigated.

And they have this new fresh statement in regards to this new video, in which they say this, "While it is positive to see her, it remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion, or external interference. This video alone is insufficient."

China has been facing increasing pressure over Peng's situation not just from the WTA, but also from the United Nations, from the White House, from International tennis stars, and of course, the timing is sensitive because the Beijing Olympic Games is now just 2-1/2 months away.

Boris and Christi.

SANCHEZ: And there's reporting out there that indicates that the Biden administration may boycott the Winter Games because of the humanitarian rights record of China. Kristie Lu Stout reporting from Hong Kong. Thank you so much.

The subject of China's rise and their authoritarian streak is key in a new Fareed Zakaria documentary. He's got an in-depth look at China's leader, Xi Jinping. "CHINA'S IRON FIST: Xi Jinping and the Stakes for America", airing tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

PAUL (on camera): Well, A lot more ahead on NEW DAY. First though, meet one of CNN's top 10 heroes of 2021.


JENIFER COLPAS, VOLUNTEER, AIESEC: The families that we are working with are living in extreme poverty. These areas are so remote that there is no even roads to get there. The communities use candles, gasoline, lamps.

They were spending a lot of money -- and the smoke of the lamps were negatively affecting their health.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (text): Oh, good, you have the panel here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (text): I hope it works well.

COLPAS: Our mission is to provide access to basic services. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (text): Look, it's already at eight.

COLPAS: My biggest dream for the people that I'm working with that they wake up not just to survive, but they can take small steps to fulfil their dreams.


PAUL (voice-over): Please go to Right now, you can place your vote for the CNN Hero of the Year. And thank you for doing so.



SANCHEZ: We could be on the verge of seeing some college football history and all it took was a blowout loss by one of the top teams in the country.

PAUL (on camera): Yes, Coy Wire is here. So, I understand there's a bunch of people in southwest Ohio who are a little bit excited this morning.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Yes, kind of there where you're from, Christi.

Imagine the emotional cartwheels in households all over Cincinnati. The number five, Bearcats, having a strong shot at becoming the first- ever non-power-five team to make the playoff.

All thanks to Utah. Third ranked Oregon Ducks planning to stay in the top four, but Ducks lay eggs, because Utah fans and their 23rd-ranked Utes had other plans, throwing a barrage of proverbial punches just before the half.

Already up 14, a right jab from Cameron Rising to Brant Kuithe, 49 yards of heart and desire embarrassing would be tacklers.

Next, it was the right croft. T.J. Pledger pounded it into the end zone from four yards out. Near freezing temps doesn't matter. Fans are feeling this one.

Just 11 seconds to go in the half, and it hits him again. Oregon punting and Britain Covey lands in this haymaker here. He gets to corner, get some great blocks, and he just makes the final man miss take a 78 yards for the knockout -- knock in the Ducks, clean out of the playoff. Utah wins 38-7. Oregon's losses since this game.

Quarterback Desmond Ridder doing it all for the number five Bearcats against SMU yesterday. And since his first offensive snap, Ridder finding Tyler Scott for a 53 yards striking the score, his first of three passing touchdowns on the day.

But he is a renaissance man. In the second, Ridder, tucks it and takes off, galloping past defenders 40 yards to the house to put Cinci up by 20. So, passing T.D., check. rushing T.D., thank you.

Time for the trifecta third quarter, why not? Ridder hauling in a five-yard touchdown catch. It's off a reverse pass.


Bearcats win big 48-14, the fourth and final playoff spot could be theirs.

And the Washington Spirit are the National Women's Soccer League champs after an extra-time thriller with Chicago. Look at the beautiful cross from Trinity Rodman, finding Kelley O'Hara for the header and the eventual game winner. So, O'Hara's only goal this season but it's the clincher.

What a moment from Washington, a two to one win, it's their first-ever title. Now, what a year for Trinity Rodman, the daughter of NBA Legend Dennis Rodman, bypassing college, becoming the youngest player ever to drafted in the NWSL. She goes on to become the best player of the field yesterday, Rookie of the Year. Incredible story.

SANCHEZ: And great to hear it. Coy Wire, thank you so much for that. The next hour of NEW DAY starts right now.