5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Tuesday, December 17
Some are taking a second look at the Santa Claus story after some recent controversies.
December 17th, 2013
04:57 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Tuesday, December 17

A judge slams the NSA, today's a big day for the Washington budget deal, and Santa's caught in a growing mess.

It's Tuesday, and here are the “5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

1. NSA SPYING

Judgment day: Some have had choice words for the National Security Agency’s surveillance measures. Yesterday, a federal judge added another word to describe the NSA's spying: Unconstitutional. The government’s collection of metadata, which includes phone records of the time and numbers called, violates privacy rights, a judge said. The ruling may be cheered by some, but it is limited. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon’s ruling applies only to five plaintiffs that had sued the NSA. The decision will also be challenged. The Justice Department said it disagrees with the judge and there will be an appeal. But one person probably cheering this decision is Edward Snowden, the man who leaked the classified documents that exposed this issue.

This comes as President Obama has ordered a review of NSA practices. He is scheduled to meet with a group of
tech company executives to discuss the issue today.

Jim Sciutto will be live to give us the latest on this story. And Jeffrey Toobin will provide analysis.

2. BUDGET DEAL

Close to a vote? Senate supporters of the pending budget deal say they are close. The optimism comes after several conservative Republicans said yesterday they would support the deal. Now, senators say, they should have enough votes to break a filibuster today. Once that happens, the budget could pass later this week. The deal, which has already passed the House, will change the way Washington has worked recently. And it will avoid another government shutdown.

Jim Acosta will give us the latest on this story.

3. ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP

Soap opera: Are all those new fancy hand soaps and body washes that have been popping up better than regular soap? Makers of those products will now have to prove it, the Food and Drug Administration says. Manufacturers of some antibacterial soaps will now have to prove their products are safe for long-term use. Some products can cause “health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects," the FDA says. Listen to this FDA statement: “Although consumers generally view these products as effective tools to help prevent the spread of germs, there is currently no evidence that they are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water.” But you won’t have to throw out that blueberry, mango body wash any time soon. It will take more than a year, the FDA says, before the rule will kick in.

Elizabeth Cohen will update us on this story.

4. MEGA MILLIONS

Sign that ticket: That’s one of the tips some are offering to the winner of today’s Mega Millions mega jackpot. The lottery is living up to its name as the jackpot has ballooned to an obscene $586 million. Why sign the ticket? Are you crazy? What if the roommate "claims" it? What if your significant other isn't as significant as you thought? What if you are showing it to someone, say over a beer or 10, and it goes missing? Sign it - if you didn't when you bought it - because whoever has an unsigned ticket when it gets turned in can call dibs on it. Other tips include: Get some advice from past winners, and get a lawyer and figure out if you want to stay anonymous. All these tips will help you avoid problems. But really, how many problems could the winner of today’s Mega Millions really have? Try this: If nobody wins, the jackpot could jump to $1 billion. Now that’s problems.

Pamela Brown will update us on this story.

5. SANTA CONTROVERSY

Ho, ho, woes: Good ole St. Nick may not be used to being wrapped up in controversy. But in recent days, Santa has caused some issues. There’s an African-American high school student in New Mexico who says he was questioned by a teacher for wearing a Santa outfit. You can't be Santa - you're black, the boy’s father said the teacher told him. The boy was crushed and embarrassed, the father told CNN affiliate KOAT. Now the ninth-grader wants nothing to do with Christmas, the father says. The school system weighed in. "This situation involves a teacher recently hired by Cleveland High who made - and admits he made - a stupid mistake," the school system said. "The remark was inappropriate. … ”

The teacher's remark came amid something of a dust-up over Santa's skin color after Fox News Channel picked up on a Slate.com writer's piece questioning the mythical character's ethnicity. Fox anchor Megyn Kelly responded to the piece by saying: "And, by the way, for all of you kids watching at home, Santa just is white, but this person is arguing maybe we should also have a black Santa. But, you know, Santa is what he is. And so, you know, we're just debating this because someone wrote about it, kids." Whoa. This is getting deep. But despite the hurt feelings involving Kris Kringle, we may be able to agree on one thing. Spoiler alert: (Kids, please look away for a second) Santa is not even real.

Tune in for news headlines to hear about this story and others.

Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a few others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.

– Funky Santa: Despite the controversy, this Santa knows how to spread the holiday cheer.

– Cheer dad: This smooth-dancing dad shows his daughter another example of holiday cheer.

– Crazy cat: This cat is not in the holiday mood.

– Poor Waffles: Waffles, the cat, is having a bad day. But at least you always land on your feet. Right, Waffles? Waffles?

– Amazing catch: This dad seems to have forgotten that his baby is on the luggage counter. Luckily, this security guard was watching.

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 to 9 a.m. ET. Join us at NewDayCNN.com, and go and have a GREAT NEW DAY!

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Williemojorisin

    The cat that attacked the woman. Needs to be put down.

    December 17, 2013 at 10:42 am | Reply
  2. Cathy Klager

    I am surprised that you don't find it important enough to cover the fact that millions of us are losing our health care and/or paying sky rocketing costs and our doctors are being forced out of networks that have provided care to patients for years! Where is your outrage over the lies this administration has told?....and Jay Carney at the White House and HHS continue to attempt to "sugar coat" what is about to become one of the most detrimental laws ever passed. It's time to stop falling victim to the lies and do your research into those citizens betrayed by this administration.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:55 am | Reply
  3. Rafael A.Madrigal

    Let's not ignore airport theft by airport employees. That is a huge problem that has been increasing just because airport security is unable or not willing to eliminate that problem. Is like trying to eliminate corruption within the police departmetn. They just pretend that is not happenig and hope it will go away. Has what, it is still here. Another thing, security at the baggage pickup area, it does not exist, anyone can pick my bag a walk away, and it's happening now. This is just plain crazy. Security exists only to make you feel secure but in reality it is a lie.

    December 17, 2013 at 8:26 am | Reply
  4. george

    FOX NEWS looks for sympathy..These talking heads do not get pick the topics they deliver, nor invite the guests they ask to contribute. The producers of the show(s) make these decisions and that happens each morning in closed door editorial meetings where the company line is adhered to. The agenda of the managing editor, Roger Ailes, is closely followed by these producers, So what is seen/heard is exactly as the boss wants it to be at the pleasure of the owner, Ruppert Murdoch. While I don't give MK a pass, she is told to begin each segment with a tease and steer the conversation with her guests to follow the script. In this instance, the wedge issue here is race in the defense of a white culkture under fire. It happens each year at Fox. and t he predictable retort is, victumhood. Thus gaining support by the loyal viewers. Like throwing red meat to the lions. MK is yet another tool that will follow th circus and gin up issues where a divide can be made. Its insidious. That is the mo of Murdoch and Ailes wildest dream of post Nikonian separate and unequal dogma

    December 17, 2013 at 6:13 am | Reply
  5. Bob

    Are you guys even aware that there is a fire in Big Sur?

    December 17, 2013 at 6:00 am | Reply

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