News Wrap: Major U.S. airlines warn 5G could ground planes, disrupt travel

In our news wrap Monday, major U.S. airlines and cargo lines warned of a crisis when cellphone providers deploy new, faster 5G wireless internet service on Wednesday. Australia and New Zealand sent out surveillance flights to Tonga in the wake of an enormous undersea volcano eruption on Saturday. The U.S. and its Asian allies condemned North Korea's fourth firing of ballistic missiles in January.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: The COVID-19 death toll in the United States has passed 850,000, with the average number of daily deaths climbing sharply in the last two weeks.

    Meanwhile, China has eased its lockdown measures in Xi'An, about 75 miles from Beijing. But Beijing also reported its first case of Omicron, with the Winter Olympics less than three weeks away.

    Major U.S. airlines and cargo lines warned today of a crisis when AT&T and Verizon deploy new faster 5G wireless Internet service on Wednesday. Delta, United and Southwest said that they need federal clearance to keep major airports operating, or air travel could be sharply reduced. There are concerns that 5G signals could interfere with airliner instruments that are used to measure the distance to the ground.

    A major winter storm brought heavy snow and high winds to the Northeast today, cutting power for thousands and canceling flights. Plows were out in force overnight in Eastern Ohio, where some places got more than two feet of snow.

    And, as day came, people in Rochester, New York, had to dig their way out. The storm migrated from the Deep South after causing the deaths of at least two people.

    In Sudan, meantime, this has been one of the deadliest days since October's military coup. Security forces in Khartoum again opened fire on protesters, killing seven and wounding around 100 others. That makes at least 71 people killed so far in the near daily protests.

    The U.S. and its Asian allies today condemned North Korea's fourth firing of ballistic missiles this month. The South Korean military says they were short-range weapons that flew not quite 240 miles, landing in the sea. The North has rejected new talks on its nuclear program until the U.S. drops sanctions.

    China reports that its economy grew 8 percent for all of last year, but slowed to only half that rate in the fourth quarter. The drop-off came as Beijing cracked down on the real estate industry's surging debt. That, in turn, triggered a slump in construction.

    And back in this country, Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman who flew combat missions in three wars, died Sunday at his home in Bethesda, Maryland. In both military and civilian life, he faced segregation and racism. But he was highly decorated, and, in 2020, he received a standing ovation during President Trump's State of the Union address.

    Charles McGee was 102 years old.

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