February 25th, 2014
05:14 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Tuesday, February 25

Arizona's governor has a choice to make on a controversial right-to-deny-service bill. Researchers are looking for answers after a mystery disease paralyzes limbs in five children. And Ukrainian lawmakers are in a hurry to create a new government with an ousted President on the run.

Welcome to the Tuesday edition of "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

1. ARIZONA CONTROVERSY

Veto or not: It is decision time for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, and this one may not be easy. She has to decide if she will sign a bill that supporters say promotes religious freedom and opponents say discriminates against gays and lesbians. The bill could let business owners, as long as they assert their religious beliefs, deny service to gay and lesbian customers.

She has until Saturday morning to sign or veto the bill. If she does nothing, it automatically becomes law. What will she do? She's been a conservative champion, but Arizona GOP sources say she also considers herself pro-business, and some business leaders are encouraging her to oppose the measure.

Miguel Marquez reports at 6.

2. UKRAINE UNREST

Short-order government: After months of protests came to a head with deadly clashes and the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych last week, Ukrainian lawmakers are in a hurry to come up with an interim government that can steer the country until presidential elections in May. The interim President said that he aims to have a unity government by Thursday.

But even with Yanukovych gone - he's on the run, evading an arrest warrant - those in power face lots of challenges, including a division between the east and west of the country, and the intentions of Russia, a key backer of the former President.

Nick Paton Walsh will have the latest at 6.

3. MYSTERY ILLNESS

Polio-like syndrome in California: What caused five California children to be paralyzed in an arm or leg? Neurologists in that state are alerting the public about a polio-like syndrome that appeared in those children in 2012 and 2013. The emphasize that it appears to be very rare, but they want other doctors to be aware to help them determine the cause, and they want any other cases identified quickly. Researchers don't know what caused these cases, though it's not poliovirus, and they say similar syndromes pop up every couple of years elsewhere in the world.

On Monday evening, the parents of one of the children, 4-year-old Sofia Jarvis of Berkeley, told reporters that they've been told her left arm is permanently paralyzed. She goes to preschool and can write with her right hand. The difficulties? "Day to day getting dressed, tying her shoes, those things that she would normally be learning right now ... we are going to have to find a new way of doing," said her mother, Jessica Tomei.

Dan Simon will have the latest at 6.

4. SHRINKING THE ARMY

Smallest Army in 70 years? If U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has his way, the nation's Army would be cut to its lowest number of active-duty troops since the buildup to World War II. Hagel on Monday proposed a scaled-back military spending plan, one that he said would reflect the country's fiscal challenges but still let it dominate one war while still maintaining effective defenses for a second.

Expect a fight over this. Republican hawks have previously battled President Barack Obama's attempts to reduce defense spending as part of overall deficit reduction. And South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says proposed cuts to the National Guard are a "slap in the face" to anyone who has served in the reserve military force.

Barbara Starr will report live at 6.

5. TED NUGENT

Done with name calling? Republicans weren't happy with conservative rocker Ted Nugent after he called Obama a "subhuman mongrel," and apparently Nugent is listening. He apologized last week, and on Monday he told CNN that criticism by fellow conservatives persuaded him to give up name calling. He says he represents many of the people they do, and "I think I owe it to those great Americans to be more civil when I represent them." He also insisted that his "mongrel" remarks, made in an interview last month, were not racist.

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

- Harold Ramis' debilitating disease: People are mourning Harold Ramis, the actor, writer and director whose films include "Stripes," "Ghostbusters," "Groundhog Day" and "Analyze This." The disease that led to his death, vasculitis, is one of a family of maladies that can starve organs and cause painful tissue damage.

- Waffle taco: Taco Bell has announced a breakfast menu that's debuting in late March. The waffle taco in particular is getting attention on social media.

- If only it had thumbs: This dog would like to open a bag of marbles. It's not having much luck.

- That sinking feeling: BBC reporter Caroline Bilton drops from view during a live report.

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 (11 Responses)
  1. Mike

    I LOVE Ted Nugent! The more he chips away GOP and Tea Party creditability the more I love him! And I must say, he and Sara P and Michelle B and the rest of the chimp clan are doing a fine job!

    February 25, 2014 at 9:23 am | Reply
  2. Oh Joe...

    Gays, Putin and minorities – all CNN knows these days....

    February 25, 2014 at 9:17 am | Reply
  3. George

    I'm surprised the situation in Venezuela didn't make your list. Not to minimize Ukraine but they are thousand of miles away almost on the other side of the world as opposed to Venezuela that are practically neighbors. Shame on you.

    February 25, 2014 at 9:11 am | Reply
  4. roblindman

    Doe........ Rayyyyyyyyyy....... EGONNNNNN! I will miss Harold Ramis.

    February 25, 2014 at 9:08 am | Reply
  5. Martin

    Let's be honest, the GOP was not "upset" with Nugent until his comments, made weeks ago, actually started to find the light of day in media reporting. Abbott and Perry and Cruz were not "upset" with him, only the ambitious Rand Paul found it disgraceful to call the President a "subhuman mongrel" but Rand Paul is a guy who thinks the Civil Rights Act is government overreach. Glad I am not trying to find a leader on that side.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:59 am | Reply
  6. Raging Dragon

    Nugent isn't relevant. Ever. He's a loud-mouthed bigot among a party trying to get rid of its loud-mouthed bigots. The GOP is dying and Nugent is busy hammering away on the coffin. It's people like him that create moderates.

    And he has no shot at being President. He needs to give up on that right now.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:45 am | Reply
  7. tom

    Nugent's remarks were absolutely racist. And to refer to the President of the United States in such a manner is completely un-American. I cannot properly express my utter distain Ted Nugent.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:41 am | Reply
  8. Angie

    Mongrel wasn't racist in refering to our mixed race president? This guy takes his constituents for a pack of imbeciles; which probably makes him 80% right in his assumptions.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:38 am | Reply
  9. ZapThunder

    Ted Nugent made the top 5 for apologizing, but Harold Ramis dying just gets a mention? Ted Nugent had one good song decades ago. Harold Ramis formed the entire comedy scene at that time. A scene that is still trying to capture and re-create the magic he had.

    February 25, 2014 at 6:42 am | Reply
    • TeamCNNCNN

      Thank you for sharing your comments about Harold Ramis, Erik.

      Here's more information on Mr. Ramis' life and passing:
      http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/24/showbiz/movies/obit-harold-ramis/index.html?hpt=en_c1

      We invite your to comment here or on the #NewDay Facebook page at http://www.cnn.com/newdaycnn.

      Thank you,
      Lola
      CNN VCM

      February 25, 2014 at 7:13 am | Reply
    • Reddog9500

      Ummm, what "good song" would that be?

      February 25, 2014 at 8:33 am | Reply

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