Welcome to the Thursday edition of “5 Things to Know for Your New Day."
Every weekday morning around 6, we’ll hit the top five stories of the day, clue you in on a few other buzzy items, and let you know about some of the must-watch stories coming up on CNN’s new morning show, “New Day,” with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.
1. GANDOLFINI DEATH
“Take over for a while, I’ll be right back.” That’s actor James Gandolfini on what he wants God to say to him at the Pearly Gates. All night long, tributes and tweets flowed in from "Sopranos" fans and fellow actors trying to process his sudden death. He was just 51 years old.
More than 1,000 photos have been posted to Instagram tagged #gandolfini, including this great pencil drawing, posted by @znewtown:
At 7, we'll talk to Frank Vincent who played Phil Leotardo on the show, and with Vince Curatola who played Johnny Sac. At 8, we'll have Joe Pantoliano on. He played Ralph Cifaretto.
We'll also go live to Rome to hear from CNN senior international correspondent @DanielJRivers. Gandolfini was vacationing in Italy when he died.
And finally, we'll talk to our chief medical correspondent @DrSanjayGupta about the Soprano star's health. This is what he said last night:
"This is young to have a heart attack, even when you look at any pre-existing health conditions."
I am the eye in the sky looking at you: Big brother isn't just watching you online, but from the air as well. The FBI director dropped that bombshell on us during a hearing yesterday. He said the FBI's been using drones - but in a "very, very minimal way and very seldom."
No matter how you cut it, it's raising hackles.
Just a few hours ago, President Obama returned from a high-profile trip to Europe. When he left, he was defending the NSA surveillance program. Now, he returns to this. Correspondent @AthenaCNN joins us from the White House at 6 to tell us more.
3. SUPREME COURT
You keep me hangin' on: Every Monday and Thursday, we wait to hear from the Supremes on some pretty high-profile cases.
And we wait:
And we wait:
There's affirmative action, there's same-sex marriage, there's the Voting Rights Act. Whichever way the justices swing, they're bound to tick half of us off. This morning, we have a poll to prove it!
4. AARON HERNANDEZ
Man dead, player mum
A murder mystery's unfolding outside Aaron Hernandez's home in Massachusetts where a man was found dead. There's lots of rumors and speculation flying, but the Patriots tight end isn't talking.
At 7, our @JohnBerman is live with details on the investigation.
5. PAULA DEEN
From the frying pan into the firestorm: We like her when she's sweet and spunky. When she's salty? Not so much.
Yesterday, we learned the celeb chef 's used the N-word to refer to black people - but "only the bad ones."
Needless to say, the Internet went into overdrive serving up #PaulasBestDishes
At 8, correspondent @AlinaCNN will tell us the controversy Paula's ..um.. stirred. And over at CNN.com, we have a wonderful profile of her from our friends at Eatocracy.
Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a couple of others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.
– Humanity, yeah!: Our faith in mankind has been restored, thanks to two women.
a) A baby falls out of a two-story fire escape and a passerby catches him. The woman turns out to be the daughter of former All-Star catcher Joe Torre
b) An unemployed teacher comes across a plastic bag stuffed with TWENTY THOUSAND dollars - and returns it!
– Oops, my bad: For 37 years, Exodus International led a movement to "cure gays." Last night, it issued a "never mind" and slammed its doors forever.
– Home is where the hurt is: Think you’ve had to deal with an annoying apartment manager? Did he cut a hole in your floor? Soak your clothes in ammonia? Board up your windows? No? Well, be glad you don’t live here!
There you go. All you need to know to get an early start to your morning.
Be sure to tune in to "New Day," from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET, join us at CNN.com/NewDay and go and have a GREAT NEW DAY