February 12th, 2014
05:10 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Southeast waits for a beastly winter storm. Shocking testimony rocks the loud music trial. And a state governor puts a historic halt on executions.

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

1. WINTER STORM

Ice, ice, maybe: The Southeast was waiting early today. Families were locked in their homes. Stores were ransacked for supplies. Road crews were ready. Thousands of flights were canceled. Now all that was left was the questions. Will this winter storm really be catastrophic? Should I have bought all these batteries, duct tape and milk? How long will I be stuck in my house with my wild kids? While in some areas the snowpocalypse had not descended early today, Southerners were heeding ominous warnings of the monstrous storm on its way.

Indra Petersons, Nick Valencia and Carol Costello will be part of our team covering this story throughout the show. John Kraft from Georgia Power joins us at 6.

2. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

Not on my watch: That's what Washington's governor said yesterday. Gov. Jay Inslee stepped in and put a halt to executions in the state. There are "too many doubts" and "too many flaws" in death penalty cases, the governor said. After months of review, Inslee said he's convinced that equal justice wasn't being served. The ban will stay as long as Inslee is governor, he says. Washington now joins many other states with doubts. Eighteen states have officially banned capital punishment as a matter of law. Seven others have had a moratorium imposed either by the courts or the governor.

Tune in to the News Headlines segment for this story and other stories.

3. WHITE HOUSE DINNER

Hollande, minus one: Yesterday's state dinner brought top Washington and Hollywood couples to the White House. But the most watched person may have been the one without a date: French President Francois Hollande. France's head man went stag to the soiree.  Recent news of an affair with an actress ended his longtime relationship with the woman once considered the nation's first lady. Hollande came alone but brought baggage, so to speak. But the French president's troubles at home was not mentioned last night at the party of movie stars and moguls.

The event is not just party. Work also gets done, the White House says. Before the party, Obama and Hollande met to tackle top issues the allies share. High on the list, officials say, is Syria and Iran.

Jim Acosta joins us at 7 to detail the highlights of the event.

4. LOUD MUSIC TRIAL

"Crazy with grief": Yeah, but not sad enough to call police after shooting a teenager. This is one of the revelations that came during shocking testimony at the so-called loud music trial yesterday. Michael Dunn, who is accused of fatally shooting a 17-year-old, said he never called the police after the killing. The reason? He doesn't know, Dunn said yesterday. "You're right. It sounds crazy. ... I can just tell you I didn't do it," Dunn testified. "It makes sense that I should have. We didn't. I can't tell you why." After learning that Jordan Davis, the teen, died, Dunn said he was "crazy with grief." Dunn is in the trial of his life. He is accused of spraying an SUV full of unarmed teenagers following a fracas over loud music. Dunn said he shot out of self defense. Closing arguments are set for today in a trial some have compared to the infamous Trayvon Martin case.

Alina Machado will join us at 6 and 8 to give us the latest on the trial. And legal experts Jeffrey Toobin, Kimberly Priest Johnson and Sunny Hostin will join us at 7 and 8 for analysis.

5. WINTER OLYMPICS

More medals?: The race for the gold continues today though the writing may be on the wall for some events. Staring at you Russian pairs figure skating dynamic duo. While it may be impossible to beat Russia's power couple in pairs figure skating today, there is still hope. And her name is Kelly Clark. Snowboarder Shaun White failed to score a medal yesterday on the halfpipe. But America has another chance with Clark. The Vermont snowboarder is a favorite today on the women's side of the halfpipe competition. She's been a champ 70 times and has won an Olympic gold before. She's one to watch.

Also an event to watch today is women's hockey. Today marks a big showdown between the United States and Canada, the two most dominant teams in the world play. Though this game is just in pool play and the two teams are expected to meet again in the medal round, this is still a big deal. Just ask some of the fans.

Rachel Nichols join us for updates throughout the show. Former Olympian Brian Boitano also joins us at 8.

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

- Free falling: If you ever wondered what it felt like to fall from a plane into a pig pen and then get nibbled by a hungry porker, watch this video.

- Sorry cat: This is touching. Literally. Watch how this cat reacts when his apology is not accepted.

- Giraffe stroll Is it too soon for another giraffe video in this blog? This one has a happier ending than the infamous giraffe video making the rounds now.

- Surprise Valentine's: Many women say they like a man full of romantic surprises. But this seems a little much.

- Drive, drive, drive! OK, let's vote. Who thinks this guy should have sped away the first time his passengers screamed for him to drive?

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 (6 Responses)
  1. Wade

    The winter storm Qualifies as news. No 2 should have been Obama trying again to end political free speech in America by legalizing the IRS illegal activity of targeting conservative groups. 3. Obama is the no one law breaker in America breaking laws as he sees fit and enforcing them only if he likes them. 4 should have been Democrats are lying again about Obamacare as America is waking uo to the fact it is a total failure! 5 well it is the same as always CNN works to protect Obama!

    February 12, 2014 at 9:32 am | Reply
  2. Steve

    still not sure what the point of the tweets are. are these people who's opinion I should care about? cnn please explain the point of these.

    February 12, 2014 at 7:21 am | Reply
    • TeamCNNCNN

      Hi, Steve,
      Thanks so much for your question!

      We want to know what you're thinking, what matters to you, and how stories affect you. We use Twitter, Facebook, and CNN's blogs to gather this information. And often, that interaction spurs people to do great things. Some examples of how great our viewers are may be found at http://www.cnn.com/heroes and http://www.cnn.com/impact (for Impact Your World).

      Hope you have a fantastic #NewDay!
      Lola
      CNN VCM

      February 12, 2014 at 7:46 am | Reply

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