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tv   Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans  CNN  December 26, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PST

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some empathy for him. ♪ the sun going down on me >> a lot of great music there. remembering george michael. the pop icon passing away overnight at just 53 years old. we will have details and tributes from london. a fierce response from prime minister benjamin netanyahu after the u.s. refusing to stand in the way of the resolution condemning settlements in the west bank. we have the latest. and donald trump is looking to calm concerns of conflict of interest. he says he will shutter his charity foundation, but
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questions whether that is possible to do before he takes the oath of office. good morning. i'm joe johns. >> i'm alison kosik. it is 4:00 a.m. in the east. john and christine are off. up first, the entertainment world is mourning the death of george michael at the tender age of 53. ♪ last christmas i gave you my heart ♪ >> the pop icon rose to fame in the '80s as part of the two-man group wham!. michael went on to have a solo career selling more than 100 million records and collabora collaborating with some of the biggest names in the music business. his manager saying it is suspected that george michael died of heart failure. cnn's ian lee live in london with details. ian, i bet fans are in shock and gathering at his home. >> reporter: that's right, alison. we're at his home in london. behind us, there are people that
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you can see gathering. people leaving messages and also leaving candles in remembrance. you have people talking about who george michael was as an artist and pop icon. someone who really influenced a lot of people's lives. if you grew up in the 1980s, he was part of your sound track growing up with "careless whisper" and "faith." a whole list of tracks. he sold over 100 million albums. he was a true artist, too. someone who could cross genres not just in the pop world, but when he went solo after breaking up with wham!. really was able to continue and progress as a solo artist. this is someone who knew how to play a number of instruments. this is not someone who was just able to sing and had a good voice.
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this was a true musical artist. >> he really was. you talk about the sound track of our lives in our youth. still in mine. i still have him on my itunes list. you think about who he impacted. he was a big pop icon in the '80s, but what are the ages of people you are seeing gather there around his house. he wasn't just a performer. he wrote and produced a lot of his music. his voice was certainly timeless. >> reporter: that's right. he was actually just starting to work on another album with a musical producer. naughty boy. we won't be able to get that music unfortunately. this is someone who may not have grown up in the '80s or know him personally, but know his music. you hear his music on the radio. you hear his music in the movies. his music is recognizable.
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you know even though some people may not know who he was and struggles in his life, they know his music. he has had a few struggles in his life as well. his music career spanned decades, but later struggling with alcohol and had a health scare with pneumonia in 2011. he said he was almost dead. the doctors were able to bring him back and really change his life. tragically, that life ended yesterday on christmas. probably a day he is well known for for "last christmas." one of the most popular songs. tragic. a lot of people coming here and remembering this icon. >> a lot of shock and sadness. this was one true musician. cnn's ian lee. thanks so much.
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tensions with the u.s. and isreal are raising in the last days of the obama administration. prime minister benjamin netanyahu summoning the u.s. ambassador bdays after the u.s. did not use veto power to stop the isreal settlements in the west bank. saying quote, from the information that we have, we no doubt say the obama administration initiated it and stood behind it and demanded it be passed. we will do whatever is necessary that isreal will not be damaged by the shameful resolution. cnn's oren liebermann following the latest in jerusalem. oren. >> reporter: if you want to know how angry they are about the resolution. they summoned the u.s. ambassador, but ten other bass
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doppler rad ambassadors on christmas day. it was dan s hapiro who met so netanyahu could express anger over the resolution. netanyahu could have waited for the trump administration which is weeks away and the trump's pick for ambassador. he wanted to make sure this statement is loud and clear. here is what netanyahu said. >> over decades, the american administration and israeli government disagreed of sett settleme settlement. we agree that this was not the place to resolve this issue. we knew that going there would make negotiations harder and drive peace further away. as i told john kerry on thursday, friends don't take friends to the security council. >> reporter: let me point out how unusual that was. that was the cabinet meeting.
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netanyahu only speaks in hebrew there. he is addressing his government and people. for him to make a statement in english is very much him addressing obama and secretary of state john kerry directly from the meeting. joe. >> when you look at this thing with the trump administration coming into power in just a few days, this really shows us how different the trump administration might approach the very same issue compared to the outgoing obama administration. >> reporter: absolutely. i think netanyahu is expecting that and perhaps counting that. he made that clear. he is done working with obama. he is ready to work with president-elect trump. he is expressing less construction and protection at the united nations. it was lindsey graham who said we would consider cutting funding. israel is cutting funding to five u.n. organizations.
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netanyahu ordered the foreign minister to see other steps against the u.n. they are looking at u.n. staff here. this could be the beginning of steps taken against the u.n. and we will see what more parting shots with the obama administration and israeli government. >> they are pointing fingers at each other, but it is not a secret they have held these party lines for a while. >> reporter: the obama administration wanted to leave some mark on the israeli/palestinian conflict. it was secretary of state kerry with the last round of negotiation. that fell apart in april of 2014 before the gaza war. kerry expressed issues over not leaving a mark. this is what the obama administration did to leave a mark. to say u.s. ambassador to the u.n. said it wasn't their number
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one choice, but given how far the settlement population had grown, they felt this was what they had to do. netanyahu made his anger clear over this. >> oren liebermann in jerusalem, thank you. here at home, 25 days until donald trump taking office and the president-elect is moving to address conflicts of interest in the administration. that includes dissolving the foundation that bears his name. it appear it is is hitting a legal snag. let's get more now from jeremy diamond. >> reporter: good morning. president-elect trump is staying at mar-a-lago here at palm beach, florida. he has nothing publicly scheduled. that comes after this weekend where he spent the christmas holiday with his family. he attended christmas eve services at a church here in palm beach, florida. on saturday, he made a bit of news. president-elect announcing in a
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statement he plans to shutter the trump foundation. the foundation in his name. that may be a little bit easier said than done. the new york attorney general releasing a statement saying trump cannot legally shutter the foundation because an ongoing investigation. the attorney general launched that investigation over dealings of using his charity foundation to settle private legal disputes and business disputes using the charity's money. trump has not donated himself to the charity since 2008. and as not released his tax returns. there is no public record yet of how much money trump has given over the years to charity causes. democrats have been quick to pounce on trump's announcement of shuttering his foundation saying it is nothing but a fig
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leaf and nothing but a d distracti distraction. we will see over the coming weeks. donald trump is expected to announce more steps to disentangle himself between his business and duties as president of the united states. we are expecting him to give a press conference on the matter some time next month before he takes office. joe and alison. the republican national committee is getting heat for a christmas piece acknowledmessag compare trump. reince priebus said quote over two millennia ago a new hope born in the word. a savior offering the promise of salvation to all mankind just as three wisemen did on that migni. the good news of a new king. last year's christmas message from priebus made no reference
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to a king. this touched off a firestorm on soe social media leading sean spicer to shoot back with this tweet. christ is the king. he was born today so we could be saved. it is sad and disappointing you are politicizing such a holy day. how did retailers fare? a check of cnn money coming up next.
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there's still time to get exactly what you want at verizon. all right. the holiday shopping season wrapping up. americans unloaded hundreds of billions of dollars on gifts. the national retail federation predicts $655 billion on gifts.
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americans plan to spend $935 on gifts. second only to last year. mobile was a bright spot. macy's and kohl's trying to make it easier for shoppers. also appointment bump. as many as 690,000 workers scored jobs this holiday season. that is in line with 675,000 positions. many jobs will disappear in the new year. a steady line of holiday jobs shows consumer demand is wrong. retail sales in the first quarter will be important to the economy because it has been a sluggish past few years. retailers have a lot of ground to make up. >> a big difference over the lasts few years. things are looking up. >> part of it is confidence with the stock market. dow almost at 20,000.
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that helps to instill confidence. >> absolutely. keep the gift cards coming. the weather. christmas whiteout from the rockies to the northern plains. 1.5 feet of snow falling in the nation's mid section. blizzard warnings in effects this morning along with dangerous accumulations of black ice on the roads. parts of north dakota buried in a deep freeze. the state department of transportation closing portions of three highways because of life-tl life-threatening conditions. no travel warning in bismarck where traveling is quote dangerous if not impossible. let's get more from meteorologist derek van dam. >> good morning, joe and alison. lots of people traveling, going back to work or coming home from loved ones houses. we have a significant storm system moving across the northern plains and it will also
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impact the new england coastline. first we start across the dakotas where a full fledged blizzard taking place as we speak. you see the large storm system rotating across the region. blizzard warnings in effect through noon today across parts of north and south dakota. as the system moves north and east, precipitation across pennsylvania, new york, massachusetts, upstate vermont and new hampshire as well. that's not the other story we are covering. record highs in the eastern parts of the country. 22 potential records being shattered through the course of the day. temperatures soaring from chicago to atlanta. back to you. derek, thank you very much. nearly 11,000 people are stranded as tie phone rips across the east in central parts of the philippines. authorities say one person has died. you can see some of the effects of the storm here. wind gusts up to 158 miles per
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hour. hammering the region. if you look on our category, it would be category five. the storm is weakening which is good news. we have bad news. a tragedy in russia as a military plane goes down carrying a famed military choir traveling to perform in syria. we will talk about what brought the jet down and nearly 100 people on it. we are live in moscow coming up.
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japan's prime minister is set to make an historic visit to hawaii. shinzo abe will take part in ceremonies today before tomorrow's visit with president obama to pearl harbor. abe is the first japanese prime minister to visit the wreck of the "uss arizona" more than 75 years after the surprise attack by japan which left 2,400 americans dead. most of them, military personnel. abe's visit comes a few months after president obama's visit to hiroshima. russian president vladimir putin declaring a national day of mourning today after a military jet crashed sunday killing all 92 people on board. the plane carrying the victims'
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bodies arriving in moscow overnight. it included the members of the military choir scheduled to perform for russian troops in syria on new year's eve. h now officials are weighing in on the crash. cnn's matthew chance is live in moscow with more. matthew, do we know what caused this? >> reporter: no. the investigation is still very much under way. still in the phase of recovering bits of the aircraft with some employees deployed to the black sea where the aircraft crashed on sunday. shortly after takeoff. a number of ships involved in the operation. the russian defense ministry say 139 divers forming the search teams. they have been deployed on an eight-hour shift for the past 24 hours trying to recover bodies
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and fragments of the aircraft. there were no survivors found at this point. in terms of the cause of the crash, the russian transport minister said they are looking at pilot error or mechanical failure for this. they are saying terrorism is not a main version of events they are looking at the this point. officials are trying to rule out terrorism as a cause of this. those remarks were made before the investigation is completed. and this was a military aircraft. carrying members of the armed forces and although members of the russian army choir to syria to stage that performance for troops there in support of bashar al assad. it is a target for terrorists and islamic militants in particular. not just over that issue, but over other issues as well. when an aircraft like this simply disappears from radar minutes after taking off, it is
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probably wise to leave the option of terrorism open. >> matthew chance in moscow, thank you so much for that. a lot of questions yet to be answered. an update now on "star wars" actress fischcarrie fisher. her mother tweeting she is in stable condition. reynolds thanking carrie's fans. the 60-year-old fisher suffered a cardiac event flying from london to los angeles. queen elizabeth did not make it to the traditional christmas day church service. the 90-year-old is still recovering from a bad cold and will stay indoors to help with recovery. in a christmas message taped before she got sick, the queen urged britain to come together and work toward peace. especially after a turbulent election year.
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the music world remembering george michael. passing away on christmas at just 53 years old. we are live in london where fans are remembering this one-of-a-kind talent. ♪ wake me up before you go-go
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♪ freedom, freedom >> oh, the unforgettable voice of george michael. we are remembering the pop ledge end w legend who passed away on christmas. we are live in london. a harsh response from israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu after the u.s. abstains from an tti-israel relations. the ambassador pins the entire
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issue on the obama administration. and donald trump trying to quiet critics. he says he will close his charity. the question is can he get it done before he assumes the presidency? good morning. welcome to "early start." o i'm alison kosik. >> i'm joe johns. it is 31 minutes past the hour. christine and john are off. fans and fellow musicians all over the world remembering george michael who died suddenly at the age of 53 on sunday. ♪ last christmas i gave you my heart ♪ >> the british pop icon rose to fame in the 1980s as part of the two-man group wham!. michael went on selling 100 million records and collaborating with the biggest names in the music business. his manager reportedly saying it is suspected that george michael died of heart failure. cnn's ian lee outside michael's
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home in london where fans are gathering to pay tribute. ian. >> reporter: good morning, joe. fans have been coming in slowly streaming in leaving tributes here at the high gate residency. a lot of people talking about who george michael was. he is famous for his music. we talked to one person in the community who said he approachable. someone who cared about the community. come into his shop and buy things. someone who was an average person. for people coming here and leaving tributes really is just heart wrenching for them that he died so suddenly. of course, we all know him as a music icon. someone who rose in the '80s and the sound track to many people's lives growing up with many. sold over 100 million albums.
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we are starting to hear from other celebrities today reacting from the news. we have andrew ridgeley who was one of the members of wham!. he was a childhood friend who said heart broken at the loss of my beloved friend. yog, me, his loved ones. that is the nick name given to george. a statement from elton john. i am in deep shock. i lost a beloved friend and artist. my heart goes out to his family and fans. george michael was known for his music, but also an activist later in life. someone strong for the lgbt community and someone who advocated strongly against aids. this is someone who left his mark in the music world, but
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also in the world in general. >> just a shocker. why don't we listen to the music and let it breathe and i'll ask you a question in a minute. ♪ ain't no joy ♪ for an uptown boy ♪ whose teacher has told him good-bye ♪ >> ian lee, any sense of what was going on in george michael's life over the last few years? we have not heard so much from his musically. at least over here in new york. what was going on in his life f y , if you know? >> reporter: in the '90s and 2000s, he was struggling with drugs. in 2010, he spent about a month in prison because he was caught driving under the influence of marijuana. in 2011, he had a real serious
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health scare when he got pneumonia. even he said for a few weeks there was really touch and go and the doctors were able to save his life. and about two weeks ago it was announced he was going to collaborate and make new music for the world working with musical producer naughty boi. that was something people were looking forward to. this is someone whose music spanned decades. people were excited about the music. naughty boi said he was looking forward to the collaboration working with such a legend. unfortunately that will not happen now. >> ian lee in london, thank you for that. ♪ pain is hard tensions with u.s. and israel rising. israeli prime minister benjamin
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netanyahu summoning the u.s. ambassador days after re fusing to use the veto power over the settle mments in the west bank. the prime minister saying this, from the information that we have, we have no doubt that the obama administration initiated it and stood behind it and coordinated on the wording and demand it be passed. we will do whatever is necessary so israel is not damaged by the shameful resolution. cnn's oren liebermann is following the latest on this from jerusalem. oren. >> reporter: alison, it wasn't just the u.s. ambassador, but ten other ambassadors as well. the other tenministry. they were summoned on christmas day. it was dan shapiro summoned to meet with netanyahu. we don't have too much on the
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details on what was said in the meeting. netanyahu was said to express fury at the u.n. and president barack obama and secretary of state john kerry not to abstain here. he made it clear he considers the u.s. behind this. you read that statement from his spokesperson. he directed that anger directly in the meeting at the u.s. ambassador to israel shapiro. here is what netanyahu said in the cabinet meeting. >> over the decades, the american administration and israelis disagreed with the settlement. we agree that the u.n. was not the place to resolve this. we knew going there would drive peace further away. as i told john kerry on thursday, friends don't take friends to the security council. >> reporter: alison, let me point out one thing about what netanyahu said. that was in the cabinet meeting. he almost always speaks in
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hebrew because he is addressing his israeli politicians. that very much was a message to the u.s. speaking in english. >> and with the trump administration coming in in less than an month. what action could the u.s. take in the u.n. next year? >> reporter: netanyahu made it clear he is done working with obama and looking forward to the fresh start with trump. lindsey graham said the u.s. would consider cutting funding to the united nations. israel is reevaluating relationships with u.s. in israel. netanyahu said there may be more steps against the u.n. >> oren, thank you so much. here at home, 25 days until donald trump takes office and the president-elect is moving to address conflicts of interest in his administration in that includes dissolving the charitable foundation that bears his name. it appears the plan is hitting a
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big legal snag. more from cnn's jeremy diamond. >> reporter: donald trump is staying in mar-a-lago in palm beach today. he has nothing scheduled publicly today after spending the christmas holiday with his family. he attended services christmas eve at a church here in palm beach. on saturday, he made a bit of news. the president-elect announcing in a statement he plans to shutter the trump foundation. the foundation in his name. that may be a little bit easier said than done. the new york attorney general's office releasing a statement saying donald trump cannot legally shutter that foundation because an investigation is ongoing. the new york attorney general saying trump has been accused of using his foundation to settle private legal disputes and business disputes involving him
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using the charity's money. donald trump has not donated himself to the charity since 2008. has not released his tax returns so there is no public record of how much money donald trump has given over the years to charitable causes. democrats have been quick to pounce trump's announcement of shuttering the foundation saying it is nothing but a fig leaf and nothing but a distraction. not showing anything as far as donald trump resolving conflicts of interest. we will see over the coming weeks. donald trump is expected to announce more steps to diseven tank disentangling himself from the charity. we expect him to give a news conference next month before he takes office. did you get a gift card for the holidays?
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you have no intention of using it? how to get cash for your card that will never leave your drawer next.
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welcome back. don't you hate it when you get a gift card for the holidays to a store you don't shop? you have options on what to do with the card. outlining the following options. gift card granny and card pool.
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two web sites that essentially let you sell your gift cards for 90% of the value. you can buy cards from other stores on the site. some coin star machines let you trade in gift cards as well. and target will make you an offer on gift cards. you load the amount on a target gift card. as for the gifts you don't want, consider returning sooner rather than later. you don't have to deal with expiring return dates and lots of stores with after christmas sales. you could score bargains on stuff you actually want. you have to wait in line and probably everybody rushing out. >> i had no idea you could cash them in. >> give up a little bit of the money. >> coin star. who knew? weather. whiteout christmas from the
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rockies to the northern plains. as much as 1.5 feet of snow falling in the nation's mid section. blizzard warns in effect this morning. dangerous accumulations of black ice in parts of north dakota in a deep freeze. the department of transportation closing the highway because of life-threatening conditions. no travel in bismarck where the national weather service says traveling is dangerous if not impossible. let's get some more news on this from meteorologist derek van al. it is not feeling like the day after christmas when we have the chance to break 22 records. look at this map and the four-day temperature forecast for chicago. 54 degrees today. atlanta, lower 60s. potentially breaking the
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70-degree mark by this time tomorrow. temperatures for the big apple mild. we're talking 10 to 15 degrees where we should be at it tithis of year. we have a blizzard producing whiteout conditions for north and south dakota. that continues through the middle of the day today and part of the system is also bringing a wintry mix. including new york and into pennsylvania and parts of massachusetts, vermont and new hampshire. drive with care as you travel through the course of the rest of the week. back to you. thank you, derek. there are just four trading days left in the year. four. how is your 401(k) looking? the big gift the market is giving investors when we get an early start on your money next. . and we'll go to london for more on the life and legacy of george michael. the pop icon dies as the age of
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53. more coming up next. ♪
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russian president vladimir putin declaring a national day of mourning today after a military jet crashed sunday killing all 92 people on board. the plane carrying the victims' bodies arriving in moscow overnight. the passengers were set to perform on christmas eve in syria. the russian officials are weighing in on the cause. we have cnn's matthew chance with the latest reports from moscow. officials were first ruling out terrorism. that seems to be changing now. >> reporter: not really. the russian transport minister has been on the russian state television saying we're still looking at technical failure or
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pilot error as the main version of events to account for the sudden loss of the russian aircraft over the black sea. just a few minutes after it took off. perhaps he softened a bit on the idea that not all investigations into the possibility of terrorism have been closed. in the russian state media, a lot of speculation and articles when an aircraft drops off radar, it is not wise to rule out terrorism quickly before the investigation is completed. that investigation is nowhere near completed. very much in recovery phase of the operation trying to retrieve the bodies. 92 people on board the aircraft. including 64 performers part of the russian army military choir en route to syria to give performance to the troops based in syria. also trying to retrieve aircraft parts to piece together what exactly happened to the aircraft
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which again crashed in the black sea shortly after takeoff from the russian city of sochi on christmas day on sunday. >> cnn's matthew chance live from moscow. thank you. japan's prime minister set to make historic visit to hawaii. shinzo abe will take part in ceremonies today before tomorrow's visit with president obama to pearl harbor. abe will be the first japanese primary prime minister to visit the wreck of the "uss arizona." abe's visit comes a few months after president obama's historic visit to hiroshima. the site of the u.s. atomic bombing. an update on carrie fisher recovering after an in-flight medical emergency. her mother debbie renynolds tweeting this.
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thanking her fans and friends for prayers. fisher suffered a cardiac event flying from london to los angeles. for the first time in decades, queen elizabeth did not make it to the church service on christmas day. she is recovering from a bad cold and will stay indoors to recover. in a taped message before she bought si got sick, the queen urged britain to come together for peace. and only a few weeks ago, it had been held by isis. about 200 former residents 13 miles east of mosul returned to celebrate mass in their restored and now reopened church. cnn's muhammad lila has the story. >> reporter: it's a moment that many at this historic church thought they would never see.
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celebrating the birth of christ in a place once desecrated by isis. >> translator: even if it's isis, the lord taught us to love and forgive our enemies. the most important thing is to live in peace. >> reporter: isis overran this town two years ago. everyone fled. look closely. bullet holes on the walls are scars that remain. isis broke the church's glass, but not its heart. >> translator: happiness and sadness at the same time. this town used to be full of life. now look at it. such a desolate place. we can't live here now. >> reporter: the town was recaptured by iraqi forces in october this year. thousands of isis fighters are just a few kilometers away. this is now a place of razor wire and broken buildings and reality of war.
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>> translator: i could never imagine this would happen. we have lived here for more than 1,000 years. we never thought we would be displaced. our houses are destroyed. we won't be able to come back. >> reporter: in town, the green of the single practiclastic chr tree breaks up the harm around it. just holding this mass requires armed soldiers at the door. >> translator: we need a guarantee of international protection. there is no safety. we cannot live in the area. today, we have no dignity. we are displaced in our own country. >> reporter: displaced but not disheartened. >> translator: we have to have hope in this life. if we don't have hope, then we are finished. >> reporter: the ancient hymns of one of the oldest christian communities are being sung here once again. a small act of life in a country that has seen so much death.
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muhammad lila, cnn. >> muhammad, thank you. let's get an early start on your money. four days to go in 2016. today is not one of them. i'm talking about how many trading days left. stock markets are closed. i want you to check out the gains for the year. the 401(k) is likely showing similar returns. dow up 14%. nasdaq up with a 9% gain. the s&p 500 which is the broadest measure of the market. rising more than 10%. that's good news for your 401(k). the big winners posting stunning gains. cater pillar up thanks to the infrastructure plans. united health care is up 37%. jpmorgan chase leading the charge among financial stocks at 31%. same with chevron. a major recovery there as crude oil prices rebounded. perhaps the most impressive gain
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belongs to goldman sachs. not only a former employer for top administration posts for trump, but the darling of the dow's post-election rally. the iconic wall street bank up a stunning 32% since trump's victory. that's helped goldman sachs price help after the meltdown of 2008. that jump is contributed 24% or 385 of the dow's 1,600-point rally since november. it is the most expensive stock on the average trading at $240 a share. because of the way the dow is calculated, it makes it more influential in the index. what is behind the strong performance? high interest rates and more trading activity and hope of less regulation under the trump administration. >> for the average person, check your 401(k).
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now "early start" continues right now. ♪ the sun going down on me we love that voice. remembering a pop icon. george michael passes away overnight at just 53 years of age. we have details and tributes from london. and a fierce response from israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu after the u.s. refuses to stand in the way of the u.n. resolution condemning settlements in the west bank. netanyahu meeting with the u.s. ambassador behind closed doors. and donald trump looking to calm concerns of conflicts of interest. he says he will shutter his charitable foundation. is that possible to do before the oath of office? good morning. welcome to "early start." i'm alison kosik. >> i'm joe johns. it is monday, december 26th. 5:00 a.m. in the east. christine and john are off. up first, the evntertainment
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world mourning the death of george michael at the age of 53. ♪ last christmas i gave you my heart but the very next ♪ ♪ day you gave it away >> british pop icon first rising to fame in the 1980s as part of the two-man group wham!. michael went on to have a solo career selling more than 100 million records and collaborating with the biggest names in the music business. his manager telling british press it is suspected george michael died of heart failure. cnn's ian lee outside michael's home in london where the fans are gathering. what are they saying this morning, ian? >> reporter: that is right, joe. i'm in highgate where michael had a home. we have been seeing fanning trickling in all day leaving tributes at his door step. when you think of a

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