Welcome to the Tuesday 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 our morning show “New Day.”
1. FLORIDA PROPANE FIRE
Like bombs going off: When the propane tank cylinders began exploding at the central Florida refilling plant late Monday night, authorities braced for the worst. And for hours, it looked as if their fears were well founded. There were 53,000 20-pound cylinders of propane at the plant - more than a million pounds in all. Loud blasts, one after another, sent huge plumes of fire into the night sky. One resident said it sounded like “bombs were going off.” And even though the damage was massive, fortunately no one died. Now, the focus will be on what caused the blasts.
Adriana Hauser is headed to the Blue Rhino plant in Tavares and will have live updates this morning.
2. POPE FRANCIS ON GAYS
A new direction, in tone: Pope Francis is quite different from his predecessor. He’s not about changing doctrine. Instead, he’s changing perceptions about the Catholic Church. Take, for example, what he said about gays during his flight home from a Brazil trip.
“When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized”
The reaction was interesting. Some thought it was a groundbreaking reversal by the head of the Catholic Church. But it was more a change of tone, not substance. But many homosexuals who feel the church is judgmental may see this as a new spirit of welcoming and acceptance.
Well done Pope Francis. Quite a trick to be simultaneously progressive and conservative. Top class forward-thinking yet outmoded commentary.
— Ian Farnell (@Farnellian) July 29, 2013
The Rev. Edward Beck, a Catholic priest and author of three books, will join us at 6 to share his thoughts.
3. BRADLEY MANNING VERDICT
High noon for Manning: Set the alarm for 1 o'clock in the afternoon (that's 13:00 hours). That’s when Bradley Manning learns his fate: Is he a whistle-blower, or a traitor who betrayed his country? The Army private, who leaked hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, faces 22 charges. And he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
CNN’s Barbara Starr will let us know at 8 what to expect today and what might come next for Manning.
4. ANTHONY WEINER SCANDAL
Weiner not #winning: It’s not like he was looking for Eliot Spitzer’s endorsement, but Anthony Weiner’s fading campaign took a bit of a blow when the former governor told MSNBC that Weiner should not be mayor of New York. The Clintons are steamed too. More importantly, a poll that once had Weiner winning the race shows he’s now in fourth place. Most New Yorkers say he should forget about being mayor. But Weiner says he’s going the distance.
THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK: Spitzer says Weiner should not be mayor http://t.co/2f71uUVe3b
— Robert Whitmore (@rwhitmmx) July 30, 2013
Weiner's opponent and the candidate who’s leading the polls, Christine Quinn, will be our guest at 8.
5. SAN DIEGO MAYOR CONTROVERSY
Can you help a mayor out? The San Diego mayor who’s being sued for sexual harassment wants the city to cover his legal expenses. So his lawyer sent a letter to the city council - the same one that's asked him to quit his post. We don’t know if the council greeted the news with a collective "huh?" But it will meet behind closed doors tonight to figure out how to proceed.
Filner wants San Diego to pay his legal fees. This guy redefines hubris. http://t.co/kgoRG7qoCZ
— Grace Lidia Suarez (@gracels) July 30, 2013
Those are your five biggies for the day. You should also make sure to tune in at 6 or 8 to hear Dr. Sanjay Gupta explain what’s going on with the outbreak of a stomach bug called cyclospora.
Here are a couple of other stories that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.
- Let me explain this v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y: Reza Aslan says he feels bad for Foxnews.com anchor Lauren Green. Surely you’ve seen his painful interview with her where she asks –- over and over again - how a Muslim can write about the founder of Christianity and he answers her purposely listing his credentials. Aslan, an author and religious scholar, tells CNN’s Piers Morgan that he understands that people often feel academics are attacking their faith when they write about religion. But he says he’s not. He also says he didn’t even write about Christianity because he wrote about Jesus, who was a Jew, as a historical figure. Let the controversy continue.
Saw the Fox interview with @rezaaslan about his new book..astounding..surprised he didn't just up and leave in the face of their stupidity!
— Ambrose Samuels (@affsamuels) July 30, 2013
Whatever anyone says about FOX, Reza Aslan did not handle himself especially well in that interview.
— Russell Blackford (@Metamagician) July 30, 2013
- Who wants to be a baby daddy? Oh, to be on a game show and win a new car. Or a trip to Paris. Or maybe a stack of cash. How about an abandoned kid? That’s what two surprised couples won recently on a game show in Pakistan. It just so happens it’s sweeps time, but the host of the show swears it’s not a publicity stunt.
- 50 shades of red Can you say awkward? London’s fire department says more and more lovers are calling these days because they can’t get out of their handcuffs. You can probably blame it on the effect of popular best-selling erotic novel "Fifty Shades of Grey." In the last three years, fire crews have been called out 79 times on such calls. The book is also pretty popular with inmates at Guantanamo, a U.S. congressman says. Jim Moran says he was told it’s requested even more often than the Quran. Really?
50 Shades of Grey sparks surge in people trapped in HANDCUFFS: http://t.co/WOjH9YR27P. This is my favourite news story ever.
— Jess (@jess_a_simons) July 30, 2013
- Cup of Joe camera: The last thing you’d want as a weary traveler would be to try to figure out how to work some coffee machine at the airport that had no buttons, no coin slot. For the love of all things caffeinated, come on! There was such a machine in a South African airport, and the secret was it worked through facial recognition. If a person yawned … free cup of coffee. If they scowled? Guess they were denied.
- Son’s final goodbyes: NPR host Scott Simon used Twitter to share his heartbreak during his mother's final days. It began with the occasional update from the hospital ICU and ended Monday night with her final transition, and with Simon asking "When did I stop holding her hand?" The updates are carefully and artfully worded, and the response from Twitter users has been mostly positive.
The last few days of tweets from @nprscottsimon are heartbreaking, uplifting, human. Twitter has never been better. Please read.
— Tim Siedell (@badbanana) July 30, 2013
There you go. All you need to know to get an early start to your morning. But wait! There’s one more. It involves a comedian, his bicycle and a huge roll of bubble wrap. C’mon, you have to watch this.
Be sure to tune in to "New Day," from 6 to 9 a.m. ET, join us at CNN.com/NewDay and go and have a GREAT NEW DAY