ABC News Live Prime: Friday, January 14, 2021

Pediatric COVID-19 hospital admissions in US quadruple since last month; Should 60 million Americans call themselves Latinx?; Ming-Na Wen talks all new ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ Star Wars series
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Transcript for ABC News Live Prime: Friday, January 14, 2021
STEPHANIE RAMOS: The stunning scene on the Union Pacific tracks heading to downtown LA, where officials say thieves are breaking into railroad containers and emptying goods onto the tracks. Boxes meant for customers littering the rail lines after being pulled from moving freight trains, thieves that swooping in to grab the most valuable items. Police say they're now increasing patrols. As the pandemic rages this winter, hospitalizations are now at a record high across the US, some systems at the breaking point. And tonight we take you to the front lines with the health care workers facing the Omicron surge hitting America's children, pediatric hospitalizations quadrupling in the last month and taking a toll on parents. When you look at her right now, what are you thinking? - I want her to get better. I want to be able to take my baby home. And I-- I wish she didn't have this. I really do wish she didn't have this. STEPHANIE RAMOS: Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers, appearing in federal court in Texas today, charged with seditious conspiracy for his alleged involvement in the January 6 assault on the US Capitol. 11 members of the extremist group are now facing charges. ABC's Pierre Thomas has the latest on what prosecutors revealed today. The alarming report from Ukraine's border with Russia as US intelligence and the White House warn that Russia is preparing an operation to justify invading Ukraine, a so-called false flag operation involving operatives trained in urban warfare. Martha Raddatz is here with the details. We're tracking the major winter storm bearing down across the country this weekend, more than 30 states under winter weather alerts, from Missouri, to Georgia, to the East Coast. Heavy snow, and ice, and bone-chlling air expected in the Northeast as temperatures plummet overnight. We'll have the weekend forecast. MAN: Evacuate now. STEPHANIE RAMOS: The harrowing new look tonight at body camera video from the devastating Colorado wildfire last month. Residents given just moments to leave before the flames came closing in. - This is my apartment. STEPHANIE RAMOS: And big dreams, small apartment, this TikToker chronicling his big move to the Big Apple to pursue his acting dream. Two million now following his journey on TikTok and rallying around him after a recent rejection, and he's doing it all from what's been dubbed the tiniest apartment in New York City. - I just know that there's other things in store for me now, and I'm even more excited for them. - Good evening, I'm Stephanie Ramos in for Linsey Davis. Thank you so much for streaming with us. It's a busy Friday night. We are tracking a monster winter storm set to slam large portions of the country and an unprecedented admission by the Pentagon about Russia. But first, we begin with the pandemic. There are many headlines tonight. The CDC formally issued guidelines that discourage Americans from wearing cloth masks, saying they offer the least protection and surgical masks, KN95s and N95s, offer more. And beginning tomorrow, you will be able to order up to eight at-home COVID tests a month, paid for by insurance. And starting Wednesday, Americans can visit this site,, and order up to four free rapid tests per home, all of this to address the concerning Omicron surge, which has so many hospitals at a breaking point. Overall, hospitalizations now at a record high, and children especially entering hospitals in numbers not seen before this pandemic. And that is where we begin. Kayna Whitworth is inside an overwhelmed pediatric ICU where doctors and parents have a plea tonight. Get your child vaccinated if you can. - It's just turned her little life around. KAYNA WHITWORTH: Jackie Eadley is in the hospital, holding her baby girl, Anasia. She's sick with COVID. - She was diagnosed with COVID on Wednesday. She has a really high fever so she has trouble breathing. And she will not eat her food. KAYNA WHITWORTH: She's not alone. An increasing number of parents are confronting the harsh reality of the toll COVID-19 is taking on America's children, 580,000 positive pediatric cases in just the past week. Doctors at Dayton Children's Hospital giving her baby and IV, trying to get fluids into the severely underweight infant. - And it's crazy because she's a preemie. So it's like is her body going to be able to fight this? That's the first thing I'm thinking. Is she going to be able to fight this, she's so small. KAYNA WHITWORTH: Jackie has three other kids, all boys, all at home, worried about their little sister. - My two oldest, they're all vaccinated, for one, except my two-year-old. So they didn't get really many symptoms. But my two-year-old, he had fevers for a while, but they went away. KAYNA WHITWORTH: To date, Dayton Children's Hospital has only treated one vaccinated patient. They say that particular child had severe comorbidities. Nationwide, just 35% of children 5 to 17 are vaccinated. There's no approved vaccine for children under five. Almost all of the kids admitted for COVID have been unvaccinated. Doctors say 2/3 of them also have underlying health issues and are experiencing respiratory distress. HILLARY O'NEIL: But you can even see it in the faces of kids who can't even talk yet. You know, their eyes get really big and they just-- we watch them struggle to breathe. KAYNA WHITWORTH: 10% to 20% of these kids end up in the ICU. They currently have one child on a ventilator. - Throughout the pandemic, you have never had this many COVID patients in your pediatric ICU. - Yeah, this is more than what we were getting before, yes. - By extreme numbers? - Yes, extreme numbers, yes. KAYNA WHITWORTH: Dr. Vipul Patel, the chief of pediatric intensive care, says he's working harder than ever. - The ICU is very busy. We have so many COVID patients coming in and out of the unit, and they are all critical. - They're all critical. - Yes, they're very critical. More concerning thing is that if they come early, we can save them. If they come late, it's very difficult to save them. KAYNA WHITWORTH: The chief medical officer at Dayton Children's, Adam Mezoff, is a father to three and a grandfather to five. He's been doing this 40 years. - I have seen the illnesses that we now routinely vaccinate children for before they get to school, and I've seen the devastation those illnesses can cause. KAYNA WHITWORTH: COVID-19-related hospitalizations among children are hitting pandemic highs nationwide, quadrupling in the last month, Federal data showing that 880 COVID-19-positive children are being admitted to the hospital every day. Doctors in Dayton say at any given time since the end of December, around 20 kids are hospitalized at a time for COVID. Ohio currently has 300 children in the hospital, a toll on parents that is hard to imagine. - Yes, I am very scared. I'm terribly scared, terribly scared. - When you look at her right now, what are you thinking? - I want her to get better. I want to be able to take my baby home, and I wish she didn't have this. I really do wish she didn't have this. KAYNA WHITWORTH: She says she has seen some improvement, but she still has a fever and trouble eating. What do you want to say to parents out there that think that Omicron does not impact kids? - You know, it's true, it's real. Don't listen to what people say that it's not. STEPHANIE RAMOS: That baby just eight months old. We hope she gets better. Thanks so much for that report, Kayna. Now to the massive winter storm moving across the country tonight, some places facing the prospect of the first snowfall in years. From the Midwest, to the Southeast, to the Northeast, heavy snow, and treacherous ice, and first, the bitter arctic blast ahead of it. Our Rob Marciano is tracking it all for us tonight. Good evening, Rob. - Hi, Stephanie. Boy, the temperatures are plunging across the Northeast as this storm just off the coast is really starting to intensify and pull down some cold air. It's all in advance of this next system that's already brought a lot of snow to the northern plains. Let's show you where it is now. It's going to bring anywhere from five to 10 inches of snow from Omaha, up through Cedar Rapids, and then crossing through parts of Minneapolis. But then it dives down to the South and East where there's cold enough air in place in places like Atlanta, and Gainesville, and Columbia, and Charlotte to where we'll see a mix, if not some serious icing. There's been ice storm warnings that now have been posted for parts of the Carolinas. And look at the snow all the way back into parts of Mississippi and Tennessee will be accumulating. This thing rides the Appalachians. That inland track will then bring in milder air on the East side of it. And that means the coastal areas, and the I-95 corridor, will see snow change over to rain. And we probably won't see much in the way of accumulation in these bigger cities. But inland, 5 to 10 inches certainly will be widespread, maybe over a foot in some spots. In that pink area, that's the dangerous spot where icing conditions are going to be certainly a problem. And then these wind chills, temperatures plummeting across the Northeast as this low that's heading towards the Canadian maritimes explodes and really pulls down this cold air and blows it pretty good. Going to feel like two in New York, minus 7 here in Hartford, Connecticut, minus 21 in Binghamton and Syracuse in the morning. So dangerous wind chills to start things off this weekend, Stephanie. - Dangerous indeed. And Rob, can you talk more specifically about the ice threat in the Southeast? We saw that highlighted there on the map. It's a region traditionally not as well prepared for the ice and possible snow, right? - Yeah, traditionally, but yeah, they always get one, maybe two, snow and ice storms a year. This one does look like a bad setup for South Carolina, along the I-85 corridor, or maybe even Southeast of I-84. There you see the warning that just popped up between Charlotte and Columbia. And you even get it stretching into one county in Eastern Georgia. We get this cold air that can dam up across the mountains there, and then just enough mild air noses in to where freezing rain and sleet can accumulate. And that wide an area, you know, we're going to see some power outages because of that. So aside from the driving situation, which is obviously treacherous at the least, when you get enough ice on the power lines and the tree limbs, an excess of, say, a quarter of an inch, you can see those things come down. And it's not fun to be without power in the dead of winter with temperatures that will be below freezing, Stephanie. So folks in that area do need to be prepared. STEPHANIE RAMOS: Absolutely, folks will need to be very careful this weekend. Thank you so much for that, Rob. We'll be watching you all weekend long on Good Morning America and World News. Thanks, Rob. - Thanks, Steph. - We turn now to the most serious charges yet in the January 6 Capitol Riot as 11 members of the right wing militia group the Oath Keepers are facing indictment for seditious conspiracy. Today, the group's leader Stewart Rhodes appeared in court in Texas, where he stands accused of planning the use of force to block the 2020 elections certification. Here's ABC'S chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas. PIERRE THOMAS: Today, Stewart Rhodes, the founder and head of the right wing militia group the Oath Keepers, facing a federal judge and, if convicted, potentially decades in prison. - He intends to fight these charges until the very, very end. PIERRE THOMAS: The hearing a day after the FBI searched his home North of Dallas where Rhodes, a Yale Law School graduate and army veteran, was taken into custody. Rhodes and at least 10 other alleged members of the Oath Keepers accused of seditious conspiracy, of a pre-meditated plot to use force to block the certification of Joe Biden's election as president. And according to the FBI, Rhodes allegedly began planning to disrupt the transfer of power soon after the November, 2020 election. This is what he said just days after the election. - As we have men already stationed outside DC as a nuclear option. In case they attempt to remove the president illegally, we will step in and stop it. PIERRE THOMAS: That planning allegedly included reconnaissance of the nation's capital, buying firearms, ammunition, gun scopes, and other tactical gear. He allegedly bought tens of thousands of dollars worth of ammunition and weapons in the days before and after Jan 6, and plans were allegedly made for teams of heavily-armed quick reaction forces to stand by right outside the nation's capital. Prosecutors say these images show Oath Keepers staging weapons in a Virginia hotel. The indictment details a series of chilling encrypted communications, allegedly between Rhodes and his followers. On December 11, 2020, Rhodes allegedly sent a message in a private group chat stating that if president-elect Biden were to assumed the presidency, quote, there will be a bloody and desperate fight. We're going to have a fight that can't be avoided. And on Christmas day, Rhodes allegedly wrote of Congress it will be torches and pitchforks time if they don't do the right thing. Another Rhodes attorney who says his client never went inside the Capitol claims the government's case is built on lies. - They went to the Capitol to provide security at a demonstration that turned into chaos. - And Pierre Thomas joins us now. Pierre, this was an initial appearance so what happens next? - So Rhodes will stay in custody until a January 20 detention hearing, where prosecutors are likely to argue that he is a threat and should not be released, Stephanie. STEPHANIE RAMOS: All right, Pierre Thomas for us there in Washington. Thanks so much. Now to the major accusation from the US against Moscow today, saying that Russia is positioning operatives in Eastern Ukraine for what's called a false flag operation. Here's what that means. They're saying they may create an incident in order to justify a possible invasion. ABC'S chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz has those details. MARTHA RADDATZ: Tonight, independent sources inside Russia providing unverified images of more heavy Russian military equipment rolling West on rail cars as we get a troubling new sign an invasion could be just weeks away according to a US official. In addition to the 100,000 Russian troops massed on Ukraine's border, the Biden Administration today accusing Russia of pre-positioning operatives in Eastern Ukraine who were trained in urban warfare and explosives to create a possible provocation that Vladimir Putin would use to justify an invasion. - An operation designed to look like an attack on them, or their people, or Russian-speaking people in Ukraine, again, as an excuse to go in. MARTHA RADDATZ: The White House saying that Russian influence actors have also been fabricating provocations on social media. - When there isn't an actual crisis to suit their needs, they'll make one up. And so we're watching for that. MARTHA RADDATZ: The accusations come after a week of talks with Russia that did nothing to de-escalate the situation. The Russian foreign minister, today, still insisting that Russia wants a guarantee that Ukraine will not join NATO, a guarantee the US will not provide with Putin threatening a military tactical response if conditions are not met, a threat which he is not explained. But today, hackers penetrated and crippled dozens of Ukrainian government websites, leaving ominous messages, be afraid and expect the worst. - Martha, the timing of those cyber attacks concerning many, and this warning on the possible false flag operation is an extraordinary move by the US. So why would the US reveal Russia's alleged plans? - Well, I think one of the reasons is they hope it stops any planning by the Russians. And of course, the Russians say they have no plans to invade. But the US is certainly not convinced of that, and they say, a US official says, if Russia does make the decision to invade, it could be any time, starting now, mid-January, to mid-February. So this is something the US is very, very concerned about and watching every single minute, Stephanie. - And Martha, one more question, how is Russia responding to the US tonight? - Basically, they say none of what the US says is true. They have no plans to do anything like that, and they just continue to push back against the US, saying these talks, obviously, have gone nowhere so far, Stephanie. STEPHANIE RAMOS: All right, Martha, thank you so much for that report. Now to what you may have noticed in your local supermarket, empty shelves, shortages now hitting stores coast-to-coast. Our Victor Oquendo is tracking what's happening and when relief may be in sight. VICTOR OQUENDO: Tonight, the new round of grocery shortages, sending some stores across the country scrambling to restock shelves. - The shelves are pretty bare. - There's no meat, no toilet paper. It's just crazy. VICTOR OQUENDO: Experts blaming issues, including Omicron-related staffing shortages for stores and suppliers, supply chain backlogs due to the pandemic, more people eating at home, and soaring freight costs from a lack of truckers and recent extreme weather. - All of these factors happening all at once is a perfect storm, shortages and headaches for the consumer that's going out there. - Just went in there to get mayonnaise, and I've been actually trying to get one jar for the past a month. And it hasn't been there. Every time I come, it's never there. VICTOR OQUENDO: The Consumer Brands Association finding American grocery stores typically have 7% to 10% of their items out of stock at any given time. Right now, that number is at about 15% for food and beverage products. - Smaller may be better when it comes to getting the product that you need. The smaller grocery stores are very nimble. They get more deliveries at a more frequent rate. - And Aldi, a major supermarket chain, apologized to customers this week because several items were not in stock. The company is blaming shipping delays, saying that they are working around the clock to fix it, Stephanie. - All right, Victor. Thanks so much for that report. Next, to the dramatic new body camera video of the harrowing moments as the Marshal fire in Colorado closed in on entire communities, residents with just moments to pack up everything they owned. You'll want to see this. Will Carr reports. - Go towards Denver. Evacuate now. WILL CARR: Tonight, new heart-pounding body camera video showing the dramatic and dangerous escape from that deadly Colorado wildfire. - Move now. Leave your stuff, go. Everybody head East, get out of the store now. WILL CARR: First responders racing into this Costco, telling shoppers to leave immediately. - Evacuate now. Leave whatever you're doing, go. WILL CARR: Rescuers driving through thick smoke as flames devoured neighborhoods. [COUGHING] DEPUTY: Sheriff's Office, Sheriff's Office-- WILL CARR: Going door to door, urging families to get out. DEPUTY: Ma'am, you have to evacuate. - Yeah, we are. We're packed. DEPUTY: OK. Let's load up, and let's go, OK. WILL CARR: These officers racing to help horses get to safety. Smoke blanketing the sky, this officer rescuing a pair of dogs found running in the street. The December fire destroying more than 1,000 homes and businesses near Boulder, killing at least one person, a second person still missing. - Just incredible to see how quickly that fire was moving. Our thanks to Will for that report. When we come back, what Alec Baldwin did in the investigation into the deadly Rust set shooting and the growing anger at a judge's decision to reverse a rape conviction. We hear from the survivor. But up next, Latinx, so many use the word, but why most of the people who it's describing don't like the term. We'll talk about it. That's coming up. What is in a name? Well, a lot, and when it comes to the Hispanic, Latino, Latinx community, knowing what name applies is a point of confusion and even contention. Recently, the oldest Latino civil rights organization in the US said they would no longer be using the term Latinx. And so did a top Latino Congressman, but people and groups who support the term say it makes the community more inclusive. So what are 60 million people in the US supposed to call themselves? That is the question we're hoping language researcher, author, and, let's not forget, TikTok sensation Dr. Jose Medina can help answer for us. Dr. Medina, thank you so much for being here. Let's jump right in. Where did the term Latinx originate from, and who created it? - Absolutely, so there is no definite beginning to the term Latinx here in the United States. Some people feel like it started to appear in academia, specifically Latinx writers, around 2004. But the truth is that there are others that point to scholars and researchers in Puerto Rico, in Central America, South America, and other parts of the Caribbean that were actually using the x, and also at sign, to be more inclusive in their studies, and in their work, their writing work. - In your opinion, do you think they were trying to modernize the terms like Hispanic and Latino? - Look, as an openly queer Latinx, Latine, Spanglish-speaking language researcher of the world, to me, that intersectionality is really really important. Sometimes I identify as Chicano and Pocho. Sometimes I identify as Mexican-American, but I also, specifically in queer communities, identify as a member of the Latinx community. And the reason why that's so important is that no one really gets to choose how somebody's self-identifies. STEPHANIE RAMOS: And doctor, this controversy is so interesting because the term is so multilayered. It doesn't just define its members in the US, but also across all of Latin America. That's nearly two dozen countries. It's an intersection of language, multiculturalism, gender identity, and feminism. Is it possible to even find a common ground? - Look, I don't think that we need to. I think that any time that we are trying to police language, and that are specifically seeking a way to tell folks how they need to view themselves, we continue cycles of oppression. Now, there are a lot of folks that actually are saying that the Latinx term should not be used because it cannot be conjugated in Español. But the truth is is that if we really stop to think about it, we were colonized from the moment that the Spaniards came to the Americas and took away indigenous tongues. And so all of these attacks on really utilizing and leveraging linguistic liberation as a way to value intersectionality is something that each and every one of us should defend, not oppose. STEPHANIE RAMOS: Right, and that begs the question, why create this umbrella? Right, everyone, like you said, you can identify as Chicano, or Dominican, and Puerto Rican, and that's it. But you touch on a really important point, the community here in the US is very bilingual. And grammatically speaking, some argue that term is US-centric. Latnix doesn't translate into Spanish, and it doesn't fit in with the Spanish language and its rules. How can it work with words like amigos or friends? JOSE MEDINA: So this is not just something that is utilized in the United States. I think that a lot of folks with racial privilege have tried to politicize the term Latinx, when, in reality, somebody with racial privilege should not be telling me, or any other queer, Latinx, Latine, Chicano, Mexicano, Pocho individual how we get to identify those intersections that make us beautiful as participants in this democracy in the United States. - I want you to look at this graphic of a Gallup poll. While only 4% say they identify as Latinx, a point Gallup made, which I found interesting, is that 57% of those polled say it doesn't matter what they're called. Why do you think such a big chunk of the community is indifferent about what they're called? - Absolutely, look, Stephanie, the truth is is that many of us, specifically Black Indigenous communities of color, have been marginalized for so long, including from the moment that we entered into the schooling building, that we've been conditioned to try to fit into this mold. I mean, even what we say, you know, the United States is a melting pot. It's something that we usually see as as something of pride. The truth is that all that we are saying when we say that we are a melting pot is that somehow we need to amalgamate into this one thing. STEPHANIE RAMOS: And what do you think will happen within the next couple of years when it comes to this term? Do you think it's something that's going to go away? JOSE MEDINA: Definitely, if you go deeper into those polls that you're referencing, it seems to be folks that are a little bit older that are not familiar, or that perhaps are not interested in really valuing that intersectionality that younger folks are wanting to value. STEPHANIE RAMOS: And before I let you go, I'd love for you to hit on a big picture point for us with this infighting over what we call ourselves. How much harder does it make it to really fight for causes that propel the entire community forward? - It's difficult, Stephanie. I mean, at the end of the day, all of us are a hot mess. I mean, I don't know if somebody told you today, Stephanie, but you're a hot mess. STEPHANIE RAMOS: I'm trying not to be, OK? I'm trying to keep it together, OK. - I know, but all of us, all of us bring bias and prejudice into any space. And when we say no, I don't have a prejudiced bone in my body, the truth is, first of all, [SPEAKING SPANISH] Liar, liar, pants on fire. But second of all, we need to work on being more inclusive. And at the end of the day, that's all that the Latinx term is really about. It's about creating a safe space. STEPHANIE RAMOS: Creating a safe space for absolutely everyone, completely agree. - Por favor. - Claro que si. - [SPEAKING SPANISH] That is exactly it. - Comadre, got that in there, too. I appreciate it. - [INAUDIBLE] - Dr. Medina, thank you so much for your honesty, and your insight, and, of course, your time. Always a pleasure to have you on ABC News Live, thank you so much. - Thank you, Stephanie. Adios y saludes a todes. - Still ahead here on Prime, the young man who went viral for living in a very small apartment. It's this week's TikTok. And is the price of chocolate about to go up? We take a look by the numbers. But first, our tweet of the day from actor John Stamos, speaking about the burial of his very close friend Bob Saget. Welcome back. Is the price of chocolate about to go way up? Well, with many hunkered down during the pandemic and this really cold weather, chocolate is getting more popular. But the production of cocoa, chocolate's main ingredient, might not keep up with demand. Here's a look by the numbers. Chocolate sales have been climbing more than 5% a quarter. That's according to Bloomberg. And we haven't gotten to Valentine's Day yet. So at the same time, cocoa production appears to be slowing down. 2/3, 66% of the world's cocoa comes from the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Ivory Coast officials say their country's crop is expected to drop by 10% this season, compared to the same time last year. And in Ghana, cocoa deliveries have dropped 45% year-over-year. That's according to the International Cocoa Organization. High demand and low supply usually means price hikes. The cocoa futures market hit a two-month high this week, and there are signs that cocoa and chocolate prices will keep rising. And finally, with reduced cocoa production in West Africa, chocolate makers have been tapping into domestic reserves. Certified stockpiles at US ports have fallen 20% since last year, and that's according to Bloomberg. And we still have a lot to get to here on Prime. Tennis star Novak Djokovic facing deportation again, we have those details. And the big change to French dressing. And the story of true perseverance, the man who sold his shoe collection to afford IVF and the couple's relentless optimism. But first, here's a look at our top trending stories on REPORTER 1: The CDC warning that loosely-woven cloth masks provide the least protection, that N95 and KN95 masks might be a better option. - We have never had this many COVID patients in the hospital at any point in the pandemic. REPORTER 1: The governor of Wisconsin calling in the National Guard to help with nurse staffing shortages as patients stream in. - We've all seen the tragic story of individuals who need urgent care and treatment, whether COVID or not, but can't get it because our hospitals are full. REPORTER 1: Some waiting hours to get tested for the virus. Officials in Utah changing their guidelines, urging symptomatic people to just stay home for five days, instead of getting tested. But health experts say the surge could be peaking, or nearing a peak, in some states. REPORTER 2: New information on the investigation into the deadly movie set shooting involving Alec Baldwin, the Santa Fe District Attorney's office now says it has Alec Baldwin's cell phone. New Mexico authorities got a search warrant for the phone nearly a month ago. In an Instagram post this week, Baldwin said he delayed handing the phone over due to concerns on whether his private communications would be protected. Baldwin was holding a gun that discharged in October, killing cinematographer Hailey Hutchinson, wounding the director Joel Souza. REPORTER 1: Number one-ranked tennis star Novak Djokovic faces deportation again after the Australian government revoked his visa for a second time. REPORTER 2: This all started back on January 5 when the unvaccinated Djokovic arrived in Australia on an exemption permission to play in the Australian Open. But he was detained at the airport after his visa was cancelled. He then spent seven days at a quarantine facility, with supporters clashing with police outside on the streets below. It looked like he was back in the tournament after he later won an appeal, but soon after, officials learned Djokovic had COVID and still attended two public events in Serbia last month without wearing a mask. Djokovic's attorneys are already working on an appeal, with the hopes that it can be heard on Sunday, allowing him to then have his visa returned in time for him to play Monday, when the top half of the draw is set to compete. One of Djokovic's counterparts in the Australian Open Andy Murray says the entire ordeal is not good for anyone. - Ultimately, people, you know, have to make their own choices, but there is also consequences sometimes for for those decisions, as well. REPORTER 3: FedEx wants to put anti-missile lasers on its planes. Why? In its request to the FAA, the company felt the feature could be useful when flying over potentially-dangerous, contested regions. The defense system is designed to divert missiles fired from the ground, but before even considering approval, the FAA wants to make sure the system works without damaging the plane, or other planes in the area. REPORTER 1: The FDA has ended rules about French salad dressing. Until now, to get the label, dressing makers needed to make it with 35% vegetable oil and vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice. Now, they can use any ingredients they want, as long as they're safe. REPORTER 3: One of the most insidious earworms in the history of the composition of music now crowned as an all-time favorite by YouTube. Brace yourself. - (SINGING) Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo. Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo. Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo. Baby shark. REPORTER 3: If you can believe it, "Baby Shark" is now the most watched YouTube video of all time, surpassing 10 billion views. But maybe not so hard to believe if you happen to be a parent of young children. The milestone was reached in just five years. - Tonight, the survivor of a rape is speaking out after an Illinois judge overturned the conviction of her rapist, sparking outrage. ABC's Alex Perez spoke with her. ALEX PEREZ: An Illinois judge is under fire for reversing his own conviction of a man who was found guilty of sexually assaulting 16-year-old Cameron Vaughan. - The judge made me feel like I fought for nothing. ALEX PEREZ: Vaughn says she was drunk when 18-year-old Drew Clinton allegedly raped her at a graduation party in Quincy, Illinois last May, her dad by her side when they learned the conviction was reversed. - It felt like Cameron was making strides to get past it. And now, it's like the scab has been reopened, and she, you know, has to go through this all again. It's been very, very heartbreaking. ALEX PEREZ: According to court transcripts, Judge Adrian, in reversing the decision, blamed parents for, quote, having parties for teenagers where they allow coeds and female people to swim in their underwear and said the 148 days Clinton had spent in jail already is plenty of punishment. - I thought it was outrageous. He, like, he blamed every single person except for Drew. He blamed my parents. He blamed my friends. He blamed myself. He made it seem like it was every other person's fault besides the only person who's at fault. ALEX PEREZ: Judge Robert Adrian presided over a bench trial and found Clinton guilty on one count of criminal sexual assault, but during sentencing last week, the same judge granted a defense motion and changed his decision to not guilty and allowed Clinton, who faced four years behind bars, to be released. - Judges have enormous discretion. I've never heard before of a judge, without additional new evidence, new facts, new information, overturning his own decision. ALEX PEREZ: Clinton's defense maintains the encounter with Vaughn was consensual. - The fact of the matter is he was found not guilty. So five months is 5 months too much because an innocent person should never go to jail. ALEX PEREZ: Vaughn now attends classes online, as she's dropped out of sports and says she is still emotionally struggling from the alleged assault. What's the message you want to make sure comes across after what happened in court? - I just want every single girl, honestly, everywhere to know that it is OK to stand up for what happened to you and to not hide it. - Our thanks to Alex for that report. Up next, the new warning about airtags. ABC's Becky Worley has the latest. BECKY WORLEY: Increasing concern about Apple's AirTags, law enforcement officials in New Jersey issuing a warning to officers, saying airtags and similar devices pose an inherent threat to law enforcement, as criminals could use them to identify officers' sensitive locations, patterns of life, et cetera. The issue not limited to police. - I was seeing videos all over TikTok and everywhere else of people getting notifications on their phone that an AirTag has been following them and that people are placing them on their cars and stuff. BECKY WORLEY: Adriana Ballesteros was out shopping with a friend when one of their phones showed this airtag notification. It reads, this item has been moving with you for a while. The owner can see its location. - There was a map that showed it followed our exact location, from Target all the way back to her house. BECKY WORLEY: These two women are not alone. - I was at a bar in Tribeca, had my coat on the chair behind me, and once I was already on my walk home, halfway home, I got the notification that was like someone's tracking you and has been for a while. BECKY WORLEY: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Brooks Nader says she was tracked through New York City, suspecting the tag was placed in her coat when she wasn't looking. - It was the scariest, scariest moment ever. BECKY WORLEY: The AirTag by Apple is meant to be attached to things frequently lost, like keys or wallets, and then a person can track their airtags location with other devices, including cell phones. - Their precision in their location tracking is also very, very accurate. So if you're being tracked for nefarious purposes, or if your car is being tracked to be stolen later, that is very concerning but, unfortunately, very accurate. BECKY WORLEY: For Android phone users, Apple has also released an Android-based app called Tracker Detect, designed to allow Android users an option to track these tags. Apple tells ABC News, we take customer safety very seriously, adding if users ever feel their safety is at risk, they're encouraged to contact local law enforcement who can work with Apple to provide any available information about the unknown AirTag. - Thanks so much for that, Becky. Now, turning to a story of true perseverance. For months, ABC News has been following Lauren and EJ Wynn, a couple whose journey to have a baby went viral after EJ sold his shoe collection to pay for fertility treatments. ABC's Alex Presha brings us their story of relentless hope. ALEX PRESHA: Lauren and EJ Wynn have always prayed for a child, but the road to parenthood has not been easy. - It's everything we have wanted for before we even got married. - The journey has been a little rough for us. ALEX PRESHA: Rough and painful, they've tried for more than half a decade, facing eight miscarriages and two failed intrauterine inseminations, a medical procedure where sperm is placed directly into the uterus. - When we had our first loss, I felt very alone. There's been times where I've just sat there and cried, where I was like I can't do this anymore. I can't do another injection. I can't put us through another loss, I just can't. And then you blame yourself because you're like OK, what's wrong with my body? ALEX PRESHA: They started looking into in vitro fertilization, or IVF, to help them get pregnant. This is a series of procedures that requires mature eggs to be removed and fertilized by sperm. The embryo is then transferred back into the womb. - So here is our perfect embryo. ALEX PRESHA: It's a treatment with a hefty price tag. One cycle of IVF can cost an average of $12,000 to $17,000. In many cases, the process isn't fully covered by insurance. - A lot of people think hey, let's do IVF. We're going to bring home a baby. It doesn't even guarantee you an embryo. So that, mentally, is very, very hard. ALEX PRESHA: EJ got creative and helped fund their IVF selling sneakers, dozens from his highly-prized collection. - The sneaker community was like, man, you sold your whole collection? Having a child was way more important than any shoe. ALEX PRESHA: That meant the world to Lauren. It also got the attention of the sneaker community online and others who empathized. Donations poured in, more than $12,000 on GoFundMe. But the Wynns also broke the ice on a taboo topic. - You realize how many people in the sneaker community were going through it, also. - I didn't realize how many guys online would call me and ask me for advice. ALEX PRESHA: And then finally this fall, something to cheer for. - It's positive. I am pregnant. I'm just praying that this is the one. ALEX PRESHA: We were there when Lauren told EJ. - Oh, wow. - We're pregnant, honey. - Oh, good. Oh, man. - We're pregnant. - Congratulations, man. - Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you all. - Guys, for letting us be a part of this moment. - No, thank you all. ALEX PRESHA: Next, the calls to the family. - She's pregnant. WOMAN (ON PHONE): You be messing with my emotions. ALEX PRESHA: They've gotten these phone calls before. The prayer is that this time things go differently. - You lose that joy. You hear miscarriages, but you don't think oh, it'll happen to me. And then when it does, and then you get pregnant again, and it happens again, and again, and again, you're happy to find a positive test, but your heartbroken at the same time because you don't know what will happen. ALEX PRESHA: But Lauren and EJ are staying the course, praying for their miracle baby. LAUREN WYNN: I've had over 600 injections, 11 surgeries. I've taken over 1,400 pills. Just since I was pregnant this pregnancy, I've had my blood drawn over 60 times. So it's been a lot. And then every week, I'd go in for an IVIG infusion, and it's either about a four-hour infusion , or close to about seven, 7 1 /2-hour hour infusion, that we do every week. And we'll continue doing that until I deliver the baby. ALEX PRESHA: In the past, their miscarriages usually come around the six-week mark. But this time, the first heartbeat - There's a yolk sac. ALEX PRESHA: From ultrasounds to her growing baby bump, each moment feels like a milestone. Lauren and EJ's gender reveal, they're expecting a baby boy. - To finally get where we're, you know, where we're at now has been amazing. - Yes, it's been a miracle. ALEX PRESHA: They still have months to go, but the Wynns have faith. Really, they always have. - I have a bump. Like, you know, it's crazy. ALEX PRESHA: Now, that hope's being passed along. EJ and Lauren's openness has inspired so many couples facing the same struggle, their perseverance charting a path for other families' journeys. Alex Presha, ABC News, Washington. STEPHANIE RAMOS: We wish the Wynn family best of luck, and our thanks to Alex. We now turn to our weekly segment TikTalk, where we interview some of our favorite TikTokers, taking a closer look at the story behind the sensation. Well, our guest this week has made a name for himself with his big dreams and small apartment. Chronicling his move from Cumming, Georgia to New York City to pursue acting with his two million TikTok followers, Axel Weber, thank you so much for joining us tonight. And you're in your apartment, aren't you? - I'm right here. This is the whole space. You pretty much get, with one shot, the entire view. - Very nice. Well, you have certainly had an eventful week after sharing with your followers your unfortunate rejection from a performing arts school that shall remain nameless. The internet has rallied around you, with celebrities like Charlie Puth sharing their own experiences with rejection. Let's take a listen. - I didn't get into five of these prestigious schools that I wanted to get into, that I thought could be better in my career. - Don't believe it. - And while I do think school is great, and I did end up going to Berkeley-- - OK - A prestigious conservatory for the arts is not going to be the thing that defines your career as an actor. - Oh. - All right, Axel, so break it down for us. What has this past week been like for you? - It's been a bit of a whirlwind, and I didn't expect the response. But it's been an overwhelming amount of support, and I find myself feeling extremely grateful, first of all, for having the opportunity to even audition for Juilliard and, second of all, being able to post it and then receiving things and encouraging thoughts from everyone, especially things like from Charlie Puth, who mentioned that he got rejected from schools that he really wanted to go to. And he told me that you don't need it. You don't need a prestigious degree to pursue the career that you want. You just need consistency and persistence, and that, to me, has been a lesson in what you want is there as long as you're willing to work for it. - That is certainly some good advice, and the cat's out of the bag. We all know now where you were trying to go. It's all good. For our viewers who may not know, one of your videos, you say that the reason you botched your audition is because you did a British accent. So you said you can't do accents. So I have to ask what made you audition with a British accent? - I think it's probably because I was watching Peaky Blinders the night before, and I don't know if it's so much British as it is Birmingham, you know. Thomas Shelby, he's like we're the peaky blinders. And I guess that was swimming around in my head, and I know that was certainly not the only reason that I didn't get accepted to the school. I could have prepped more. I could have been more prepared. There's a lot of things I could have done, and the school, on their part, they just have to make a decision whether or not they want to admit someone to their class. It does hurt a little bit knowing that I could have studied at a school that held the likes of Adam Driver and Viola Davis, but I just know that there's other things in store for me now. And I'm even more excited for that. - And you just did that British accent there. It's not too bad. It's not shabby at all. So break down for us-- yeah, break down for us the-- the audition. Did you have to submit a monologue? What did you have to do, exactly? Aside from adding that British accent, what did you have to do, exactly, for Julliard to take a look at you? - Deleting the accent, actually, might have been helpful. But in order to prepare for the audition, I had to do two pieces. One was Shakespeare. One was contemporary. It's a little convoluted. The Shakespeare is a lot of big words like beguile. You had to try and figure out what exactly that means. So it was just prepping two pieces and then getting on a Zoom call. I thought it was going to be in person. It was over Zoom so I had to sit down when I did it. But I was just grateful for the opportunity to audition. The fact that there's tons of people all around the world who want to pursue a career in the arts, and they don't get the chance, so I was grateful to audition. I didn't get accepted, but now I'm ready to move on to things that I know are going to be bigger and better. STEPHANIE RAMOS: You've captured the hearts of the internet with your new apartment, as well. We can see a little bit of it there in your shot. You've showed in all these videos that it's possible, within what's called the tiniest apartment, to live in New York City. So I'm curious, how did you find the apartment? - I found the apartment on Facebook Marketplace. It was great for me. I could just literally select a location with a big circle, and it'd show me where I wanted to be. Before this, I was living in a car so this is a massive upgrade. I mean, I couldn't even extend my legs to sleep in the back seat of my Volvo. Now, I've got a queen bed. I've got a twin mattress. I can change beds if I / this apartment is perfect for me, a little small, a little cozy. But I can reach everything. I can grab a drink out of my fridge at night and then I can hop right back in bed it makes me smile just thinking about it. So this is an upgrade. I can only imagine what's next. - Exactly, you have a roof over your head, and that is what matters. What is your absolute favorite thing about your cozy apartment? - Well, actually, one of my favorite things, other than the fact that I can keep my ham cold because I used to put it in the back seat of my car, and it'd just get warm in the morning, and I'd be eaten warm, slimy ham, I'd say the best thing I have here are these Christmas lights. My mother sent me a pack, and I've kind of thrown them all around the place. And it offers a nice warm homey feel because Christmas feels like home. STEPHANIE RAMOS: That's awesome. You're making it work, and that is what matters. Well, Axel, thank you so much for your time. We wish you all the best in your career. You've got a long road ahead, but you can do this. Persistence is key, trust me. - Thank you. - And before we go tonight, the image of the day, posted on Twitter by the San Diego Zoo. They warn it may cause a fear of birds. There it is. You get an up close and personal look. Hope the camera and photographer are OK, but quite the angle. That is our show for this hour. Stay tuned to ABC News Live for more context and analysis of the day's top stories. Thanks for streaming with us. [ABC NEWS THEME MUSIC PLAYING] And coming up in the next hour, the new recommendation about masks. We have the details. And our conversation with one of the stars of the new Disney Plus hit Boba Fett, stay with us. I'm Stephanie Ramos. Thanks for streaming with us. We're monitoring several developments here at ABC News at this hour. All eyes on a powerful winter storm moving across the country. At least four states have already declared states of emergency, 75 million on alert for heavy snow, treacherous ice, and bitter cold from the Midwest, to the Southeast and the Northeast, from now, through early next week. Ahead of the storm, bone-chilling freezing weather for much of the East Coast. And the so-called "Pharma Bro" has been ordered by a New York federal judge to pay $64 million for hiking the price of a lifesaving drug from $13.50 to $750 per pill. He was sued by the FTC in several states. The judge also banned him for life from the pharmaceutical industry. Martin Shkreli is serving an unrelated seven-year sentence for securities fraud. And Netflix is raising its prices for all of its plans in the US. The company's standard price will rise to $15.50 per month. That's $1.50 price hike. The 4K plan is going to be $20, and the basic plan that comes without HD will now cost $10. The hike goes into effect immediately for new subscribers and will be gradually rolled out for existing users. Now to the pandemic as the Omicron surge pushing cases and hospitalizations to new record highs, the CDC has weighed in on which masks to wear. And beginning tomorrow, insurers must reimburse Americans for at-home COVID tests. Also tonight, the fallout from that Supreme Court ruling knocking down President Biden's vaccine mandate for large businesses. And finally, the hopeful signs as we head into this holiday weekend. Here's ABC'S Erielle Reshef. ERIELLE RESHEF: Tonight, the CDC is out with that long-awaited guidance on masks, warning that loosely-woven cloth masks provide the least protection, that N95 and KN95 masks might be a better option and that these highly-protective masks may be important for people in high-risk settings or at risk for severe disease. But the CDC is stopping short of urging all Americans to upgrade their masks, even though health experts have been recommending higher quality masks in the wake of Omicron. - The CDC is recognizing that N95 and KN95 masks really represent the gold standard right now. But at the same time, if those masks aren't available to you, a lower quality mask, like a surgical mask, or even double-masking with a cloth mask, still is better than no mask at all. ERIELLE RESHEF: It comes just as the government rolls out a new program tomorrow, reimbursing insured Americans for up to eight at-home COVID tests per month. But insurance companies warn it will take time to set up the new system. - Keep that receipt, and you'll be reimbursed for that purchase. I just think it's going to be, potentially, a little bit bumpy here in the next maybe even several weeks. ERIELLE RESHEF: As for those free rapid tests the president has promised to send to American homes, the White House today said each household will be able to order four tests at starting next Wednesday, and they will take seven to 12 days to ship out. And today, growing concerns in Chicago, where hundreds of public school students staged a walkout to protest in-person learning and call for more safety measures. - Why are they sending us back to school? They should make sure everybody take their test, everybody take a COVID test. ERIELLE RESHEF: The COVID surge infecting 780,000 Americans every day, more than twice the number rolling up their sleeves for the first vaccine shot. And just 24 hours after the Supreme Court knocked down the president's vaccine mandate covering 80 million workers, tonight, General Electric suspending its mandate. - I think what businesses need to do is take this on voluntarily. Instead of being compelled by the government, they should mandate these vaccines for their own employees. It's really good for keeping their workplaces safe and keeping our country safe. ERIELLE RESHEF: And there are positive signs Omicron is in retreat in the Northeast, where it hit hard first. Cases in New York state dropping from $90,000 a week ago to 46,000 today, and hospitalizations are starting to decline, too. - Turning the corner, you heard it here first. I've been waiting to say that. - And Erielle Reshef joins us now. Erielle, tell us about this new study of NBA players that could shed light on how transmissible the virus is. - Right, so Steph, this new study of NBA players showed that more than half that contracted the Omicron variant were potentially still infectious after five days. Experts tell us that's why it's so critically important that people follow the CDC guidelines to isolate for five days and then to mask for five more, Stephanie. STEPHANIE RAMOS: Very good advice. All right, Erielle, thank you so much. Now to the most serious charges in the January 6 Capitol riot as 11 members of the right wing militia group the Oath Keepers are facing indictment for seditious conspiracy. Today, the group's leader appeared in court where he stands accused of planning the use of force to block the 2020 election's certification. Here's ABC'S chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas. PIERRE THOMAS: Today, Stewart Rhodes, the founder and head of the right wing militia group the Oath Keepers, facing a federal judge and, if convicted, potentially decades in prison. - He intends to fight these charges until the very, very end. PIERRE THOMAS: The hearing a day after the FBI searched his home North of Dallas, where Rhodes, a Yale Law School graduate and Army veteran, was taken into custody. Rhodes and at least 10 other alleged members of the Oath Keepers accused of seditious conspiracy, of a pre-meditated plot to use force to block the certification of Joe Biden's election as president. And according to the FBI, Rhodes allegedly began planning to disrupt the transfer of power soon after the November, 2020 election. This is what he said just days after the election. - As we have men already stationed outside DC as a nuclear option. In case they attempt to remove the president illegally, we will step in and stop it. PIERRE THOMAS: That planning allegedly included reconnaissance of the nation's capital, buying firearms, ammunition, gun scopes, and other tactical gear. He allegedly bought tens of thousands of dollars worth of ammunition and weapons in the days before and after Jan 6. And plans were allegedly made for teams of heavily-armed quick reaction forces to stand by right outside the nation's capital. Prosecutors say these images show Oath Keepers staging weapons in a Virginia hotel. The indictment details a series of chilling encrypted communications, allegedly between Rhodes and his followers. On December 11, 2020, Rhodes allegedly sent a message in a private group chat, stating that if President-elect Biden were to assumed the presidency, quote, it will be a bloody and desperate fight. We're going to have a fight. That can't be avoided. And on Christmas day, Rhodes allegedly wrote of Congress, it will be torches and pitchforks time if they don't do the right thing. Another Rhodes attorney who says his client never went inside the Capitol claims the government's case is built on lies. - They went to the Capitol to provide security at a demonstration that turned into chaos. - Our Thanks to Pierre Thomas for that. The president and vice president are continuing their efforts to gain enough support in the Senate to pass new voter protections, but with conservative Senate Democrats Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin insisting any voting rights bill passed without changes to the filibuster rule, the chances of voting legislation being signed into law are slim. ABC'S Ike Ejiochi is in Washington with the latest. IKE EJIOCHI: It's a major blow for protecting the right to vote for millions of Americans. Shortly before President Biden was scheduled to arrive on Capitol Hill to speak to Senate Democrats about changing the filibuster, Kyrsten Sinema delivered a speech on the Senate floor, repeating her opposition to amending the rule, - I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country. IKE EJIOCHI: President Biden, emerging from the meeting, sounding somewhat somber. - I hope we can get this done. The honest-to-God answer is I don't know whether to get this done. IKE EJIOCHI: Democrats say new protections are needed at the ballot box because 19 states have passed laws restricting voting rights in the wake of former President Trump's lies about there being widespread election fraud. - This is a defining moral moment. It is the most important thing we can do this Congress. IKE EJIOCHI: Last night, Biden holding a private meeting at the White House with senators Sinema and Joe Manchin, another conservative Democrat opposed to changing the filibuster rule. The White House describing this second meeting as a candid and respectful exchange about views on voting rights but no mention of a deal. For now, the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act are scheduled to be debated Tuesday but without a change to the filibuster. Democrats don't have the 60 votes needed to end debate and move on to a vote. Still the administration vowing to continue their fight for voting rights. - I will be continuing with extensive meetings and discussions about how we can see this through. - Our thanks to Ike. North Korean state media posted new photos from a missile launch they claim happened from a train. They say the launches were to determine actual combat capability of their mobile missile systems. You may recall the North Koreans used a similar portable train launch last September. And turning to an ABC News exclusive, a new twist in the Murdaugh murder saga. Before the mother and son of a prominent South Carolina family were gunned down last summer, Paul Murdaugh was involved in a fatal boat crash. This morning the parents of the victim are breaking their silence. ABC'S Eva Pilgrim has that story. EVA PILGRIM: It seemed like just another night, six young people, three couples, out on a boat in the South Carolina low country. 911 OPERATOR: 9-1-1, where's your emergency? CALLER: We're in a boat crash, and one is missing. (FEMALE SCREAMING IN THE BACKGROUND): Mallory! Mallory! Mallory! CALLER: Please send someone. 911 OPERATOR: No, I'm-- we're coming, we're coming, OK. EVA PILGRIM: 19-year-old Mallory Beach was thrown from the boat. No one could find her. - I just kept praying that they would see her, like on a sandbar somewhere, that she just couldn't get to us but she was safe. EVA PILGRIM: Seven days later, her body was recovered, the coroner ruling she died from drowning and blunt force trauma. The big question, who was driving that boat? Mallory's boyfriend Anthony Cook immediately pointing the finger 19-year-old Paul Murdaugh. ANTHONY COOK: My [MUTED] girlfriend's gone, Bo. Do you think it's [MUTED] funny? OFFICER: Sit down, sit down. ANTHONY COOK: I hope you rot in [MUTED]. EVA PILGRIM: Paul is the younger son of attorney Alex Murdaugh, the Murdaugh family, a prominent South Carolina legal dynasty going back generations. - Paul was just driving and doing donuts. - You said he noticed that Paul was getting kind of drunk. - I could tell he was drunk because he gets drunk a lot, and it's just kind of like he just is a whole other person when he's drunk. EVA PILGRIM: But charges didn't come right away. Evidence was allegedly missing. Questions of how the investigation was handled, and why, circled around the community. Were you worried that there wasn't going to be a charge for what happened? - Yes, I was worried about that. Just being from the family that he's from, it would be probably a cover up. - You thought that from the first day. - I did. - What was the reason for why you guys filed the civil suit? - What motivated me was getting evidence of everything before it disappeared. PHILLIP BEACH: Her life meant something. For us, she was our baby. We had to defend her honor. EVA PILGRIM: Almost two months after the crash, Paul was indicted on charges of boating under the influence. What was your reaction to hearing that he had been charged, finally? - I was pleased that, finally, we were-- it was starting to move forward. EVA PILGRIM: But in June of last year, before his case could go to trial, Paul and his mother Maggie were found brutally murdered, the killings still unsolved, and no suspects have been named. - We've heard that statement that you finally got justice. This is not justice for us. And he did not deserve it, neither that did his mama. - Our thanks to Eva. The Murdaughs have been adamant that the family in no way interfered in the boat crash investigation, and their lawyers even denied Paul was the driver of the boat that night. You can see Eva's full report on 20/20, on ABC, and then later on on Hulu. We turn now to the latest thrilling adventure from a galaxy far, far away. The all new Book of Boba Fett series from the Star Wars universe finds an actress you may know as the voice of Mulan now taking control of Tatooine's criminal underworld as the elusive mercenary Fennec Shand, alongside bounty hunter Boba Fett. Will Reeve spoke with actress Ming Na-Wen Wen about the role she's dreamed about her entire life. - Hi - All right, we're going to dive right in here how you found yourself at the center of your own Star Wars story even to begin with. And am I to understand you've been dreaming about this for a very long time? - Yes, ever since I saw the original, the first film, now called A New Hope. Before that, it was just Star Wars. I have really been immersed into this world where the force is actually like my religion after a while. I would pray to God, Buddha, and the force, and I still do. - It must all feel a bit surreal to achieve a thing that you had dreamed of for so long. - Yeah, It's crazy because how many people get to say that, right? Even now when I see myself on the episode, you know, the Book of Boba Fett is airing right now. It's streaming, and I'm still sort of astounded. It's like an out-of-body experience. This is like winning lotto for me. - The character you portray is Fennec Shand. She's an elite mercenary assassin with a moral ambiguity that you've likened to Han Solo in the past. So in what ways might you lean into that comparison, and how might it inform your performance? - I think there's this sort of maverick quality that they both share. She's sort of a loner, which I think separates them a bit. Right now she just cares about money and aligning herself with the best opportunities. So right now, it's aligning herself with the legendary Boba Fett. - Now, let's talk about the physicality of your role. You've done Street Fighter, you've done Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Mulan. You're no stranger to action and to performing physical roles, doing stunts. How has the past informed the present in that way? - When I did Street Fighter, it was so much work back then. We trained like three times a day. Stunt fighting is incredibly hard but so much fun. And boy, it keeps me in shape. I'm actually kind of lazy when it comes to exercise. - What have you been most surprised by your character in The Book of Boba Fett? - That she you came back to life in The Mandalorian, you know. And that's all I can say at the moment. I mean, the biggest surprise is that she is able to partner up with someone because bounty hunters are very much loners. And I think this is a real new experience for her to have to trust someone and have someone trust her. So it's going to be interesting to see how their dynamic evolve over the episodes. - The Book of Boba Fett, it's also changing pre-existing conceptions of some characters from some previous storylines. Like in the past, Tusken Raiders were seen as primitive savages, but now they're portrayed as natives of Tattooine, protecting their ancestral ground. So my question is what do you think that the changes of perception in some of the Star Wars characters and storylines does for the Star Wars universe going forward? - Well, I think a challenge is a lot of the Star Wars fans who are so knowledgeable that they have definite opinions and ideas about the characters and either their demise or their evolution. And this sort of creates a better understanding, I think, and a clearer picture of people like the Tuskens. Because I remember watching Star Wars. Like, they were, to my mind, you know, were the-- the scary guys that you have to run away from or avoid, that they were the scavengers where they pirate, and steal things, and live off of others, basically. And then you find out in The Book of Boba Fett that they're the indigenous people, really, of Tattooine and have had their land stripped. And it parallels a lot of history that we all read about and know about. And I think it's wonderful to be able to sort of have a deeper insight into these characters that were more in the peripheral, including Boba Fett. You know, he only had like six minutes of airtime between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, which I think is very exciting for the fans. - Is there anything that you can share about the rest of the season of The Book of Boba Fett for diehard Star Wars fans like yourself? - Well there are four more episodes to enjoy and watch. When I look back on it, or when I'm even watching a new episode of The Book of Boba Fett, it's a privilege. It really is, and I'm very grateful. And I'm-- I'm hoping that I'll have more chances to portray these characters in different venues. - Our thanks to Will. The Book of Boba Fett is now streaming on Disney+. It is on my to-do list for this weekend to watch. And still to come, the ice queen of TikTok, that's up next. [ABC NEWS THEME PLAYING] - We're tracking several headlines around the world. Thousands have gathered for vigils across Ireland to remember a 23-year-old woman who was killed earlier this week while running along a popular canal, the murder reminding many of the death of Sarah Everard, who was killed in England while walking home. Irish police recently released a person of interest in the murder but pledged to find the killer. More memorials are scheduled in the coming days. And a sad sight in Guatemala, the bodies of 19 of those 56 migrants killed in that horrific truck accident in Mexico last month were returned to their homeland. Five of the deceased were miners. Authorities in Mexico are still working to identify additional migrants who died and provide medical support and protection to survivors of the incident. And tens of thousands of worshippers in northern India gathered for a holy dip in the river Ganges, despite a rise in COVID cases there. The ritual happens during the Kumbh Mela festival, one of the most sacred in the country. It's a bath in the river that's believed to wash away sins and free adherents from the cycle of death and rebirth. A similar festival is held in a Himalayan town, was held last year, and it was called a superspreader event by doctors. Now to the Americans on the job hunt, according to a survey by ResumeBuilder, one in four American workers plans to quit their job this year with hopes of a professional upgrade. ABC'S Rebecca Jarvis has expert tips on how to land the gig you really want. REBECCA JARVIS: After four years of working in health care, Philadelphia native Cierra Parsley is ready to change her career. Her goal, find a new job in IT. - I am looking into project management. However, I have so many transferable skills that I'm looking to go anywhere. REBECCA JARVIS: But her search hasn't been exactly fruitful. After six months and about 20 job applications, she's only scored one phone interview. - Basically, overwhelmed. I'm not getting any calls back. REBECCA JARVIS: So we enlisted the help of LinkedIn career expert Andrew McCaskill, who had the chance to review some of Cierra's most pressing questions. - I would love to know if there is anything else that I could do to get my foot in the door. - Cierra is doing so many of the right things. She's got a great picture on her LinkedIn profile. She's got her skills highlighted there. One of the things that I think that she should do is look at #opentowork. That alerts all recruiters that hey, I'm looking for a new opportunity. REBECCA JARVIS: Her next question? - What's the best way to start networking? ANDREW MCCASKILL: One is get a warm introduction from somebody that you already know. Secondly, be specific with the ask when you do make that connection. Busy people need specificity. Third, refresh their memory. Point out something that you've got in common. REBECCA JARVIS: And finally, how to get that response, Andrew says persistence is key. - Being first to respond, being highly-responsive to a recruiter, sending a follow up note, all of those things still really, really matter. - Thanks to Rebecca for that report, and good luck Cierra and everybody else searching for a new job in 2022. Let's take a chilly turn to a woman whose claim to fame is being the ice queen of TikTok. ABC's Will Ganss spoke to her about her very strong love for snow. - That's a good look right there. WILL GANSS: Janet Stewart is the ice queen of TikTok. - They've made fun of me for years because I like snow so much. I guess it was inevitable. At 40, I become TikTok famous for freezing pants. WILL GANSS: Frozen pants. - The pants up front, hold on. WILL GANSS: Frozen eggs. - It's this cold. WILL GANSS: And frozen spaghetti. - I mean, come on. - The neighbors are probably like looking through the blinds like are you seeing this? - Like what is she doing again? If you can't have fun, and you can't laugh at it, like I said, I'd just cry and be miserable. And my tears would freeze, and-- WILL GANSS: Janet is no stranger to the cold, born in South Dakota, moving to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, now living in Minnesota with her husband and daughters. - As a kid, you love it, right? And then as you become an adult, people get so grumpy about the snow. And I'm like, you know what? No, we just need to spread some joy, and some positivity, and some love. And I don't know so I'm glad everyone else is getting a kick out of it. WILL GANSS: Janet laying on the Yooper accent extra thick for TikTok, Yooper as in UP for Upper Peninsula. - We don't scoop snow in the UP. You move snow from point A to point B because it doesn't go anywhere. Move the snow. Make the vowel longer. So it's Fargo. So the big-- the funny thing that they have people say is (EMPHASIZING MIDWESTERN ACCENT) the boat show at the Fargodome. It's like the boat show at the Fargodome, hey. WILL GANSS: TikTok's ice queen warming hearts but some good old fashioned laughter. CHRIS STAPLETON: (SINGING) Why you got to be so cold? WILL GANSS: Will Ganns, ABC News, New York. - She is having some fun in the snow. I'm sure her kids love it, and so many other people on TikTok love it, as well. Thanks for making us laugh. That is our show for tonight. Stay tuned to ABC News Live for more context and analysis of the day's top stories. I'm Stephanie Ramos. Thanks for streaming with us.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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