tv Fox Report Sunday FOX News December 26, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PST
we're back here on new year's day. see you then with the latest buzz. we begin with a fox news urgent iconic singer george michael has died. that according to sky news u.k. the star's publicist saying he passed away peacefully at home at age of 53. as a solo star and before that one half of the musical duo wham, george michael sold more than 100 million records, you may have even heard the well nope christmas song a few times today. ♪ last christmas, i gave you my heart ♪ ♪ ♪ but the very next day you gave it away ♪ this year to save me from tears, i'll give it to someone
special ♪ >> will caro is live in los angeles with the latest. will, what else do we know about his death? he was only 53. >> yeah, well, gregg, our sister network sky news confirmed he died at his home in southeast england. police say there were no suspicious circumstances and the cause of death is unknown. his publicist released a statement saying it is with great sadness that we could confirm george passed away peacefully at home over the christmas period. i family would ask that their privacy be respected during this difficult and emotional time and there is no further comment at this stage. and while the world mourns, many will remember an unforgettable career, michael first found success in the 1980s as part of the duo wham. he later launched a solo career and sold more than 100 million records. his 1986 debut solo album "faith" helped make him an
international star. ♪ ♪ baby i know you're asking me to stay ♪ >> over the course of his career, mikal won two grammys and three american music wards and had eight number one hits on the billboard hot 100 in the united states and ellen just tweeting, i've just heard about my friend george michael's death. he was such a brilliant talent. i'm so sad. this month he announced he was working on a new album. >> he was a brilliant talent on the debut album. he wrote and produced nearly every song except for one and played most of the instruments and that one alone sold about 20 million plus. but he also had some health concerns in the past, didn't he? >> yeah, that is right. he was absolutely unique talent. but back in 2011 he was taken to the hospital, he wound up in the icu and it was later revealed that he had pneumonia and had to
have a tracheotomy and had to postpone a series of concerts during that ordeal and now as the world mourns, we should let you know, george michael died at the age of 53. gregg. >> bill carr live in los angeles. thanks very much. and we'll bring you more on the death of george michael as the news breaks. also making headlines tonight, escalating tension between the white house and israel after the united states abstained from a vote condemning settlements on the west bank. the white house firing back at israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu today for lashing out at president obama, saying, quote, president obama has done more for israel and its security than any previous u.s. president. president obama has always made israel and its security sacrosanct in his approach to those issues. in fact, we've always said that our pursuit of a two-state solution is guided by our belief that is the only way to preserve and strengthen israel's security
over the long-term. well all of this coming after the prime minister said there was no doubt the obama administration initiated the resolution to end settlements on the west bank and demanded that it be passed. netanyahu also recalled the u.s. ambassador and others. kevin cork is live in hawaii where president obama is spending christmas with his family. and kevin, what else is the white house saying about these accusations? >> reporter: well, you are right on the monday, gregg. really strong reaction from senior administration officials who frankly bristle at the suggestion that the u.s. somehow orchestrated this particular u.n. security council resolution and the vote that followed. of course the americans obstaining 14-0 with that abstention in that vote. and let me share more of what the principal deputy eric schultz had to say about it. he went on to say, look, the u.s. did not draft this resolution. nor did the u.s. introduce this
resolution. the egyptians in partnership with the palestinians began circulating an earlier draft of the resolution and went on to add the egypt ans moved it forward on friday and we took the position that we did when it was put to a vote. but as you've also pointed out, gregg, israeli leaders continue to escalate their rhetoric saying they orchestrated the resolution that ended the settlement construction. >> well we have rather ironclad information from sources in both the arab world and internationally that this was a deliberate push by the united states and in the fact they helped create the resolution in the first place. and so it is deeply disappointing this has been the path of president obama. >> over decades, american administrations and israeli governments have disagreed about settlements. but we agreed that the security council was not the place to resolve this issue. we knew that going there would
make negotiations harder and drive peace further away. >> reporter: needless to say, the administration is pushing back, gregg, against that narrative. they continue to point out the fact that, listen, under president obama, the ties have been strong. while the two men may not -- and you'll hear this off the record, while the two men may not have seen eye to eye on everything, structurally the relationship has remained strong, gregg. >> this is a monumental shift at the united nations and given that, how concerned is the white house about the future of relations with israel? >> reporter: listen, not at all. you talk to white house officials as often as i do and you get the same drum beat of information. the relationship is steady. there will be differences. just like a good marriage. you are going to disagree from time to time but it doesn't mean you will walk away. and in this particular circumstance, they contend, especially given the security and the military cooperation between the two nations, they are fine, they will weather the storm.
the same perhaps, gregg, may not be said for the united nations. let me share what president-elect donald trump is saying about the u.n. of course, he has made it very clear, his strong support of israel and his recent tweet about the u.n. is raising eyebrows and making people wonder how that will go in the future. he tweeted recently, after the u.n. things will be different after january 20th. that would see seem to fly in the face of convention and tradition but we'll be watching very carefully when he talks office in a few weeks. gregg, back to you. >> kevin cork live in hawaii where the president is vacationing with his family. in the mean time, tensions are escalating between israel and pakistan. the two countries clashing on twitter all thanks to a fake news story. it began after a false news item made the rounds suggesting israel's former defense ministers threatened a nuclear attack against pakistan if they send troops to syria. the defense minister tweeted to israel, quote, pakistan is a
nuclear state, too. but israel's defense ministry calling the original story totally fictitious. the two countries do not have any formal diplomatic ties. back here in the united states, president-elect donald trump attending christmas mass with his wife melania at a church in florida. the first couple even receiving a -- as could you see there -- a standing ovation when they arrived for the two-hour service. we are live in palm beach, florida with more. this church has a lot of significance for the president-elect, as we understand it? >> reporter: absolutely, gregg. in fact, this is the same church that he and melania were married in in 2005. it is the same church where his son bar ron was cliftened and where he attended mass on christmas eve the last two years. and he is no stranger there to the congregation, the bethesda by the sea and last night he was among the people there for the mass -- late night mass. and the christmas message from the reverend james harland was
about making room for the savior in our lives and doing so by letting go of the resentments that we hold on to. and following the two-hour service which ended after midnight, the reverend said mr. trump's presence had no bearing on his sermon. >> i hope that i what i said applies to everyone universally, whether it is the president-elect or someone off the street. we have the opportunity to know god in our lives and we pile up resentment and hurts and things that get in our way and i hope we can let those go. >> reporter: and you'll remember at nearly every stop of the victory tour, he claimed he was bringing merry christmas back. and today he did that over twitter, twice this morning he tweeted a simple merry christmas and this afternoon he added, merry christmas and very, very, very, very happy new year to everyone. and as we all know, you do not use four very's unless you mean it. >> and let me say that is a
record for presidents over president-elect. >> i can't let you go without asking about the surprise shake-up among trump staffers over the christmas weekend. >> reporter: yeah, this certainly did come as a surprise. last night incoming white house communication director jason miller announced that he would not be joining the incoming administration. he told fox news that he -- he and his wife are expecting the second daughter next month and that he felt like he should spend more time with his family. you'll remember just two days ago, he was announced as part of the new incoming communication team for the white house. in a statement he added, after spending this past week with my family, the most amount of time i've been able to spend with them since march of 2015, it is clear they need to be my top priority right now and this is not the right time to start a new job as demanding as white house communications director. miller added that with him being out of the picture for the time being, incoming white house press secretary sean spicer will
take on his responsibilities. back here in palm beach, it was a rare quiet day for president-elect at mar-a-largo where he spent the day with his family. and no meeting or events which is a rarity for the president-elect since winning the election nearly seven weeks ago. gregg. >> garrett, thanks very much. and russian crews are working through the night to recover the victims of a deadly plane crash over the black sea. 92 passengers and crew members on board when the plane went down this morning on its way to a military base in syria. many of the victims were part of a world famous russian army choir. mourners now laying flowers outside of the performance hall in moscow. and aboard the plane, a russian doctor just recognized for her humanitarian work in syria. russian officials saying it is too early to speculate on the cause of the crash but
investigators have not as yet ruled out terrorism. police across the country are out in force as people head out to celebrate the holidays. how they are working to keep americans safe as they gather in popular tourist spots. plus a ceremony taking place on our nation's capitol to mark the second night of hanukkah. how the annual tradition started.
welcome back, i'm gregg jarrett. with so many scary headlines lately, people apr the world celebrating a holiday that representing religion and hope and love and the pope today wishing for christmas peace for those scarred by war and terror. delivering the prayer from st. peter's basilica and we'll have more coming up on "the fox report." but tensions high around the world and police beefing up
security in the united states as well as europe. we are live in new york city with more on that. rob, is the fbi asking law enforcement to step it up? >> yeah, that is right, gregg. and a cowardly threat by isis on social media calling for a tax on soft targets like churches over the holidays is being met with an impressive show of security by law enforcement and the fbi issued a bulletin this week felling state and local law enforcement to watch out for these type of attacks through the new year at st. pattic's cathedral here, security air tight for last night's mass. there were beautiful uninterrupted services inside but outside security was very stiff as could you see in the video. more security around churches will be seen nationwide in response to that bulletin that came out in regard to isis and this follows the isis inspired truck attack on a market in berlin. a opportunityeeshan refugee
stole a tractor-trailer and ran through a crowd and killing several people and fled to milan and tilled by italy police four days later and berlin, a city tense with a terrorist on the loose. greg. >> well given all of these attacks and the mechanism of trucks being used, is that the new weapon of attack by isis? >> yeah, it certainly seems they are moving in that direction, isis pushing followers to carry out attacks like we saw in berlin, using soft targets and easily attainable weapons like a big truck. the horrible attack in nice, france, over the summer was the first time we saw this style of attack. 86 people killed on bastille day in the south of france. a tarible scene there. the nypd may caution against that style of attack during the macy's thanksgiving day parade last month and using garbage truck to block vulnerable location where's a vehicle could plow into the parade. we saw the same trucks garduard
donald trump and donald trump tower after the election and right now there are no credible threats against any u.s. locations according to the fbi but you could expect to see a lot of security in the u.s. through the new year. >> rob schmidt in new york, thanks. today jews around the world are celebrating the second night of hanukkah. a ceremony was held today in washington, d.c. to light the 30 foot tall national hanukkah menorah, the annual event outside of the white house dates back to 1979 during president jimmy carter's administration. the eight day jewish holiday known as the festival of lights commemorates the rededication of the holy temple. right now, millions around the world celebrating christmas including in aleppo where government forces recently regained control. how people there are
participating in the holiday after years of civil war. and a christmas blizzard is complicating holiday travel in parts of the country tonight. how much snow could fall across the plains and the western states? we'll tell you. and what forecasters are telling folks who plan to hit the road. >> i'm senior for then berry and i want to say hi to my mom, dad, my wife emily and my son tucker and i want to say i love you guys and i can't wait to see you
those pictures from a mass in the syrian city of aleppo where christians can celebrate christmas for the first time since the government forces took full control of that city. worshipers told a reporter at the service they are praying for peace in their country. john has more from jerusalem. >> in a world beset by violence and terrorism, the message today was about peace, faith and co existence from bethlehem to the evacuate. once again this year, the faithful attended mass at the church of the nativity, the birthplace of jesus, the big
draw being midnight mass with the latin patriarch of jerusalem made special mention of plastan president abass and one of those allowing the pass of the u.n. resolution on friday and on the minds of people who attended mass today. politics aside, tourism numbers were up in bethlehem because of the quiet, compared to last year when there was a wave of terror attacks in part of israel, including jerusalem and the west bank leading up to christmas and on christmas eve and christmas day. so while it may be calmer this year, there is always an underlying tension as terrorism and war continues to plague the middle east and that was part of the message today at the vatican. thousands packed st. peter's square to here pope francis's christmas message calling for peace and co existence in a world he said scarred by war,
particularly in syria. pope francis said it is final for weapons to be still in syriaond to actively seek a negotiated resolution so civil coexistence could be restored in the country and he offered a blessing of peace to those who have lost someone dear to them, he said, because of the brutal acts of terrorism which, quote, have sewn fear and death into the hearts of so many countries and cities. greg. >> john huddy in jerusalem, thank you. the northern plains and western states seeing a white christmas today. but while it may be pretty, it could make things very difficult for holiday travel. the national weather service issuing a blizzard and ice storm warning for the dakotas, montana and parts of minnesota. some areas could see from 8 to 15 inches of snow. and some very high winds. forecasters telling folk who have to travel to make sure they
have food, water, and an extra flashlight or two inside of the car. the president-elect said his charitable foundation will soon be no more. why he wants to shut it down and why one state attorney general is saying, not so fast. plus the music world loses another great. george michael has died. he was 53 years old. we'll have more on that after the break. i trtrtrtrtr
urgent, iconic singer george michael has died. the publicist saying he passed away peacefully at home but he did not go into detail about the cause of death so that remains unclear this hour. george michael selling more than 100 million records, first as one half of the musical duo wham. later as a solo star. many people remembering him for this hit -- snoe ♪ because i gotta have faith >> george michael was 53 years old. president-elect donald trump announcing he will shut down his charitable foundation before he takes office in a move aimed at avoiding conflicts of interest and a whole lot of criticism. but the plan has a legal hitch. lauren blanchard has more. >> after the president-elect donald trump won the election last month, many wondered what
would happen to his business empire and his nonprofit foundation. well now we know. mr. trump announcing he has directed his lawyers to begin dissolving the charity. in a statement, the president-elect saying to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as president, i have decided to continue to pursue my strong interest in philanthropy in other ways. the foundation was established in 1988 as part of an effort to donate proceeds from his book the art of the deal. it has no paid staff and is run by mr. trump and his three adult children. mr. trump said it operates essentially at no cost and that 100% of the donations go to charity. but mr. trump hasn't personally donated to his own charity in a number of years. instead many wealthy friends have filled the coffers, closing the foundation isn't unexpected because it has been under investigation by the state of new york since september. for the way it collects and disbursed funds. but shutting down the foundation
may not be that simple. the press secretary for the attorney general said the foundation could not legally dissolve until that investigation is complete. while the deputy director for the dnc tweeting these harsh words. might be tough to shut down a foundation that is under investigation for fraud but taking a step back, there is nothing trump iyer than shutting down the part of his empire that might do some good, while leaving his for profit company in tact so he could still profit off the presidency when he takes office. merry christmas or something. >> and there is no date on when the timeline will be dissolved but he will be pursuing his strong interest in philanthropy in other ways. >> thanks. republican lawmakers are gearing up for january when they control both chambers of congress and the white house, for the first time in a decade. so what can we expect in the year to come?
christen fisher with a preview from washington. >> both president-elect trump and house republicans say their number one priority is to create jobs. and to do that, they're going to try to make american businesses more competitive by lowering the corporate tax rate. trump's plan would cut the rate from 35% to 15% and the house gop plan would only kout it to 20 -- only cut it to 20% but today kevin mccarthy said bottom line the corporate tax rate is going down, no matter what. other top priorities for this congress include improving border security and repealing and replacing obama care. two issues where again most republican lawmakers and the president-elect see eye to eye. one issue where there trump may run -- mr. trump may run into trouble with conservatives is his trillion dollar infrastructure plan. >> trillion dollars is expensive. the regulations to build a road, you wait a decade for that. could you see the reforms there.
and what i like about president-elect doing, he brings that business idea in. >> in terms of timing, expect things to move quickly as soon as trump is sworn in. they set the schedule so the house would be in session far more frequently during the first 100 days in office, we're talking five day workweeks instead of the typical three to four day weeks that congress got used to. >> we'll not miss this window of opportunity. the america put a trust in us and they want to see change and we're going to make sure it happens. >> this is the first time in ten years that the republicans have controlled the house and the presidency and they are trying to make the most of it. >> thanks. law and order, a phrase heard from the trump campaign and now we're beginning to see what he metropolit what he meant. it could start with the community safety act, a law aimed at reducing surge crime rates by increasing funding for local police and federal agencies. fox news correspondent rick
leventhal takes a look from new york city. >> reporter: the thin blue line, the men and women in uniform were a focal point of president-elect donald trump's campaign. >> to all law enforcement in america, we are with you, we support you, and we will always stand with you. we love you. >> reporter: now, as mr. trump prepares to move into the white house, officers across the country say law enforcement should remain a top priority. >> what i care about and i think that what the administration or the department of justice, homeland security, what everybody cares about is do people feel safe and are people safe in their neighborhoods, where they live and that is what we're trying to accomplish. >> reporter: a key opponent of the trump 100 day action plan to make america great again is centered on policing. >> restoring community safety act reduces surging crime and drugs and violence by creating a task force on violent crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist your local police who are doing such a
great job. believe me. >> reporter: his close advisers say president trump is willing to use the power of the office to get things done. >> it is incredibly important for people to feel like they have the resources in the neighborhood and for those who say this is heavy handed federal government, when you are the president and you could give visibility to people's concerns about law enforcement locally and crime and safety in their communities, that is leadership. >> reporter: the dangerous police -- dangers police face is one of trump's biggest talking points. >> an attack on our police is an attack on all of us. law enforcement is the line separating civilization from total chaos. you have to remember that. [ sirens ] >> reporter: at least 62 police officers have been killed by firearms in the line of duty already this year. a sharp increase over the 41 gunned down in 2015. this rarely leads to protest marches.
[ chanting ] >> reporter: but demonstrations against police involved in shooting of civilians have become commonplace in america's biggest cities. even when investigations show many of the suspects were armed or resisted arrest. >> there is an expectation of the public that if the police are trained well enough every encounter with the police are end just fine and if it doesn't end fine it is because the police officer did something wrong. that is just an unrealistic standard to put on any cop. >> reporter: tom is chief of police of montgomery country, maryland and president of the major city's chief association and said the challenges cops face in today's environment has made it tougher to find qualified applicants willing to risk their lives in the face of hostility and intense scrutiny. >> the fact is that often times when we are dealing with someone out on the street, it is up to them how the encounter goes. we can do everything as best we can to de-escalate it but
sometimes the person we're dealing with just doesn't allow that to happen. >> reporter: mr. trump's plan promises to pump more money into police department for training and equipment but civil rights advocates worry that the stop-and-frisk policies could lead to more hostility between the officers and the community they patrol because as the aclu argues, the vast majority of folks targeted under the policy have done nothing wrong. >> you cannot stop crime by topping and harassing innocent people. and there is no legitimate business in america that would come into your community or mine and say, we have a product with an 80% failure rate and we want you to buy it. >> reporter: ultimately, criminal investigator said communities need to work with police and police need to conduct themselves within the framework of the law. >> they are putting the lives on the line for us every day and it is important that we do support them. we also have to understand their people too and they make
mistakes like all of us do. so a blanket that is helpful, we give them responsibilities in our society and tell them they could use force and they could take a life. and given that responsibility comes with accountability and we have to hold police officers accountable when they cross the line. >> reporter: the largest police department, the nypd, has put additional focus on sensitivity training and community policing. hoping to improve the relationship between cops and the people in the neighborhood they patrol and other agencies across the country are following this lead. it is still not clear how a trump administration might influence this trend. in new york, rick leventhal, fox news. former illinois governor rod blagoyavich has been in prison since 2011 for corruption and now he wants the remainder of his 14 year sentence commuted. he's requesting just that from the president before he leaves office. he, by the way, was found guilty
of trying to sell mr. obama's former senate seat. remember this. >> i've got this thing and it is a [ bleep ]. golden. and i'm just not giving it up for nothing. >> and that was just some of the evidence in his own words. historically presidents only grant a small percentage of commutations or pardons. if the president ignores his request it carries over to president-elect trump. we're going to have more ahead on the news. it has been breaking this past hour. iconic singer george michael dead at the age of 53. more on his life and his l
president-elect donald trump is promising plenty of action in his first 100 days in office. and one area where he is vowed to get results is reforming corporate taxes and bringing home good-paying jobs. fox business networks peter barns takes a closer look at how he could get that done. >> reporter: every weekday in washington, d.c., these food trucks line up on massachusetts avenue to serve lunch to nearby workers. many of the trucks are operated by small business owners, entrepreneurs who serve food, like this woman, who serves $80,000 in meals every year. she knows what she would do with a cut in her taxes from trump. >> we could invest in more equipment and replacing newer
equipment and also the truck itself, the engine, generators, there is a lot of things you can do that with. with newer equipment and we can run the business smoothly. >> reporter: mr. trump has proposed a big cut in corporate taxes as part of the plan to stimulate business investment, the economy and job creation. >> we're also going to lower the business tax rate from 35%, all the way down to 15%. that is going -- we're going to prime the pump. going to prime the pump. got to get the jobs. >> and that could save many thousands in taxes each year. this woman estimates she is now paying 20% of her income in taxes annually. many democrats, including president obama, have supported lower corporate tax rates, too. but the issue went nowhere because of partisan wrangling over difficult details.
stumble blocks included proposals that might hurt some industries over others such as reducting debt from profits but with republicans in control of the white house and both chambers in congress next year, reform of some kind may finally happen. >> we are killing jobs and competitiveness in america because of our tax code. tax reform is central to fixing this problem. >> we're talking about doing big business tax cut possibly first, that would include the tax cut for the small businesses. i mean, every meeting i've been in with donald trump, he has said, when we do this business tax cut, i want it to be for the 26.5 million small businesses in this country. >> reporter: mr. trump and his team have not projected how much new investment or how many jobs his plan may create but they estimate corporate tax reform could create 900,000 new jobs and add about $2 trillion to the budget deficit over a decade, even with better gdp growth.
arrival group said it would provide a short-term boost and hurt the economy and job creation in the long-term because of higher deficit. >> a lot more borrowing will take place by the public and private sector to fund the new investment. and that is going to drive up interest rates and crowd out capital so that has a negative effect. >> reporter: one woman who runs her food truck only with his husband wants to wait a little longer before expanding. >> this is small business. so we -- i don't plan to hire a lot of people yet. so we can just do everything on our own. just two of us now. >> reporter: mr. trump still has to find common ground with republicans in congress. speaker ryan, for example, favors cutting the top tax rate down to 20%, not 15%. and other congressional leaders say that any corporate tax reform should not add to the deficit. peter barnes, fox news. nearly 100 million american
families decorated a christmas tree this year. so coming up, we'll take a closer look at how the popular holiday tradition helps drive the american economy. >> i'm currently located at bahrain and i would like to wish my family and friends in new orleans, louisiana, and houston, texas, a happy holidays and a happy birthday to my mom. i love and miss you guys and i can't wait to see you when i get home.
♪ ♪ i've got to have faith we bring you a fox news urgent, of course you recognize that song, iconic singer george michael who wrote it has died. the star's publicist saying he passed away peacefully at home but he did not go into detail about the cause of death. george michael selling more than 100 million records. his debut solo album "faith" had eight number one hits on the top 100 billboard. and he also wrote and produced all of the tracts except one which he cowrote and played many of the instruments himself. joining me now by phone is gerald brunner, a contributor
for parade magazine, author of my city, my new york and former in style reporter who covered hollywood for more than to 20 years, thanks for taking a few moments and talk to us about george michael's impact on music and his immense talent. >> yes. hi. he was extraordinary talented and he was unique. he exploded on to the scene in the '80s. his voice was incredibly -- was incredible special. and he had all these great number one songs. and he was very -- he was very much a pioneer, especially in the '80s, coming out with all of these extraordinary hits. and then it was part of a
extremely successful solo career. and also had a very complicated life. you know, was -- you know came out as a gay man. and struggling with a lot of demons, but with extraordinarily talents. >> we're just getting word from elton john who posted an instagram, let me read it here. this is elton john. i'm in deep shock. i have lost a beloved friend, the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. my heart goes out to his family, friends and all of his fans. in addition to writing so many of his songs and playing the instruments, he also took on social ills and injustice in some of his sal bums which a great many people admired. what are your thoughts? >> yeah, i mean, even the song
"do they know it's christmastime" and then in the 80s, he gathered all of these extraordinarily talented musicians to do that wonderful hit song for christmastime, many decades ago, as he rallied all of these great musicians to be philanthropic. so he really had a heart and a soul. and it's really tragic because he's so young, to leave us too soon. and he was really a brilliant musician and had this beautiful voice. you listen to some of those songs that he sings, you know, i got to have faith and so many extraordinaire hits. >> we're looking at some of the video right now of him
performing and he would bring down the house. he was so incredible. and he would play, as i mentioned before, one instrument after another and he had this fabulous voice. >> exactly. >> but he also at the same time, did have issues with drugs. and then apart from that, i mean, he had some serious health issues. at one point in time he nearly died of namony, i believe that was in 2011, they had to perform a trachy ott om my to keep his airwaves open. so he had this struggles. >> yes. so he was dealing with all of these demons. you know, he had earlier -- early on he had a partner who -- the great love of his life who passed away from aids related illnesses. so he -- yeah, so he had the dueality of here he was this brilliant musician and singer
and yet always struggled with -- with illness and pain. and it's incredibly tragic. to lose him. >> the ultimate tribute is when your peers like elton john and we just read his comment, when your peers, the stars want to perform with you. and i mean, he began his solo career by singing a duet with aretha franklin and others like whitney houston and michael jackson wanted to perform with him as well. >> exactly. because he had this very -- nobody sounded like him. he had this soulful, soulful voice, you know, which was -- which was purely unique. nobody could sing like him. and i think that's why so many artists really gravitated towards him. because he had that -- that very rich, melodic voice that was
purely his own. and very distinct. and some of the delicious songs were his and so he was marred by all of these demons. it is just such a tragedy, where he was taken so soon. >> yes. so young. gerald brenner of parade magazine. thank you for sharing your thoughts. >> absolutely. >> george michael today dead at the age of 53. we'll be right back. ♪
has more. >> whether you've had it up for weeks or waiting until the last minute, your christmas tree helps power our economic engine. >> it is a big, big piece of the economy. the annual christmas tree business in the united states is over a billion dollars. >> somewhere between 25 and 30 million trees are sold every year, according to the national christmas tree association. and that does not include the artificial variety. tree farms cover some 350,000 acres in the u.s. and employ tens of thousands of people. >> we're talking about a hundred thousand people, 15,000 christmas tree businesses, again most of which are family owned. >> the u.s. department of agriculture said the five top producing states are oregon, north carolina, michigan, pennsylvania and wisconsi revea million households all across the country will decorate a tree. >> we're seeing something really interesting this year, it is a trend towards the traditional.
other trend we're seeing is a trend toward multiple trees and that is happening over the last couple of years, over 10% of households that have christmas trees now have more than one. >> balsam hill makes high end faux furs and their product line includes 50 different tree varieties. the founder said artificial evergreens have come a long way over the years. >> we have about a dozen that are true replicas where i've gone out to christmas tree farms to nurseries and brought the trees home and planted them in my yard and take clippings of the trees and then we make the molds for the needles from those trees. >> as for last christmas, 12.5 million artificial trees were sold in the u.s. in washington, blake burman, fox news. the british royal family celebrating today by attending christmas mass. prince phillip and charles and harry all in attendance. notably absent, queen elizabeth, apparently she has a bad cold. little prince george and
charlotte also not in attenda e attendance. they were with william and kate middleton visiting her parents for christmas. and that is how fox report this is christmas day, sunday, december 25th, 2016. i'm gregg jarrett in for harris faulkner. thank you for watching. legends and lies, the patriot, begins in a moment. >> good morning. it is monday december 26th. this is a fox news alert. shocking news from hollywood breaking overnight. pop star george michael has
died. >> the 53-year-old singer dies at 53. >> wal-mart pulling this cont ch ver shall clothing line after a police protest. the outrage is boiling over. >> what did you show everybody? >> i don't want to. >> now if this happened to you, the returns it is on. the rush for that. not every present under your tree was perfect. mine was. >> thank you mom and dad. >> we have the store with the best and worst return policies for you. "fox & friends first" starts right now. ♪
>> good morning. you are watching "fox & friends first" on this monday morning. >> thank you for starting your day after christmas with us. i hope you are having a good one. >> we start with a fox news alert and the shocking death of 80's and 90's pop icon george michael. >> the front man's manager said he passed a way peacefully on christmas day due to heart failure. the grammy winner sold more than 100 million albums like wake me up before you go go which you heard before the show here it was over a span of four decades. he went on to a sky rocketing solo