A debt ceiling crisis is halted. A package bomb has many searching for answers. And the wicked winter storm heads north.
It's Thursday, and here are the “5 Things to Know for Your New Day."
1. WINTER STORM
Headed north: If folks in the Northeast want to get an idea of what's headed their way, all they have to do is look to the South. The monster winter storm walloped the South yesterday. Some states fared worse than others. Georgia learned a lesson from last time, it seems. Most stayed indoors. But did Charlotte or Raleigh have an Atlanta moment? Many in the Carolinas were telling stories of woe yesterday. Some told tales of being stuck in traffic for hours on icy, dangerous roads. Some had to seek shelter in malls or at work. Sound familiar Atlanta?
This wicked storm has left more than a half a million people without power and is blamed for 10 deaths. And it is headed to the East Coast today.
Indra Petersons, George Howell and Erin McPike will be part of our team covering this story throughout the show. William Bell, the mayor of Durham, North Carolina, joins us at 6. Patrick Cannon, the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, joins us at 7.
2. DEBT CEILING
Crisis averted: The Senate passed a bill that averted a disaster. Well at least it pushed it back for more than a year. Senators passed a measure yesterday allowing the government to borrow more money to pay its bills through March 2015. President Obama said he plans to sign the deal, effectively putting the debt ceiling issue to bed for awhile. Experts had warned that if the debt ceiling was not raised, it could have caused as many problems for the economy as a snow storm in the South.
Jim Acosta joins us at 6 and 8 for the latest on this issue.
3. WINTER OLYMPICS
Race for the gold: The United States is hopeful it will be a big day on the ice and ski slope today. Anything will be better than some of the losses the U.S. took yesterday. Many thought favorite Shani Davis would score a gold at the long-track speed skating event. But nope, Davis did not even get a medal.
Also the U.S. women's hockey team lost to its fierce rival, Canada. The U.S. did have some victories yesterday. And there is some hope today. Speedskater Heather Richardson is a heavy favorite in the long-track 1,000 meters event.
Rachel Nichols joins us for updates throughout the show. Olympic gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg joins us at 6.
4. LOUD MUSIC TRIAL
Decision day: A jury now decides whether a Florida man will go to prison for shooting at a car of unarmed teenagers. The jury gets the case after spirited closing arguments yesterday in the so-called loud music trial. The suspect, Michael Dunn, is accused of spraying an SUV full of unarmed teenagers following a fracas over loud music. A 17-year-old boy, Jordan Davis, died. Dunn, who faces life in prison, has said he fired out of self defense. He said the teens may have had a gun. But officers never found a gun or any weapon at the scene. The jury could make a decision today in the 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. Legal expert Sunny Hostin will join us at 7 for analysis.
5. PACKAGE BOMB
Why? Who?: Those are the questions many are asking in Tennessee after a man was killed by a bomb sent in the mail. The package was delivered to the victim, a retired lawyer, Monday. A note was attached to it. And when the package exploded, it tore through the man's home, seriously injuring his wife. Days later, neighbors were bewildered. And the FBI is searching for clues.
Tune in to the News Headlines segment for this and other stories.
Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a few others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.
- Stop, collaborate and listen: This cool principal and helper told kids at a North Carolina school about a snow day in the hippest way imaginable. To the beat of Vanilla Ice's classic, "Ice, Ice, baby."
- Winter Games war: It is hard enough trying to ski downhill at the Winter Games. Just imagine if you were accosted by some of the villains from the dark side from the Star Wars movie. Can't imagine it? Well, watch this video.
- Sultry new name: Sheila Ranea Crabtree of Pataskala, Ohio, is Sexy with a capital 'S.' That's not hyperbole. It's a fact. The 41-year-old former photographer legally changed her name to Sexy Ranea this week.
- Valentine's Day canceled: Men in north Georgia are off the hook. A local sheriff's department there called off Valentine's Day because of this monster storm. No reason to crash trying to brave the roads to pick up roses, right. Right?! But if you are as persistent as this little guy, not even the police will stop you from your Valentine.
- Earth eats Corvette That title sounds like a bizarre, campy movie. But this really happened in Kentucky when a sinkhole gobbled up some of the coolest cars ever. Just watch.
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!