Search teams comb the South China Sea for a missing Malaysian Airlines flight, the "Blade Runner" trial starts its second week, and Mexican forces kill a major drug for lord - for the second time.
Welcome to the Monday edition of “5 Things to Know for Your New Day."
1. MISSING MALAYSIA AIRLINES PLANE
Scouring the seas: Lots of folks are looking, but so far there's no trace of a Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing over the weekend. None of the potential clues has panned out as dozens of planes and ships from eight nations comb the South China Sea. "For the aircraft to go missing just like that ... as far as we are concerned, we are equally puzzled as well," said Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of the Malaysian civil aviation department. Authorities are investigating how two people traveling on stolen passports boarded the plane. Right now, there are far more questions than answers.
Still have questions about how such a large plane could disappear into thin air? Check out our easy-to-digest "Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: What we know and don't know."
Jim Clancy and Pamela Brown report live at 6 and 7. CNN's Richard Quest and Fran Townsend look at possible clues at 7. And law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes joins us at 8.
2. CRISIS IN CRIMEA
Ukraine's autonomous region: Western leaders called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to help de-escalate tensions in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian forces are in de facto control of Crimea and appear to be digging in for the long haul. Last week, the Moscow-backed regional parliament voted to leave Ukraine for Russia and announced a March 16 referendum to give Crimeans an opportunity to vote on the idea. Washington has warned Moscow not to annex the Black Sea peninsula. Putin says Russia has a legitimate right to protect Russians living in the former Soviet republic.
Anna Coren joins "New Day" at 6 and 7. Sen. John McCain stops by at 8 to talk about U.S.-Russian relations.
3. OSCAR PISTORIUS TRIAL
More testimony, more questions: The trial of "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius has entered its second week. He's charged with the murder of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. At this point, some facts are beyond dispute. The Olympic and Paralympic track star killed his girlfriend in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year. He fired four bullets through the door of a toilet room she was in. Three hit her; the final one in the head, and she died. The overarching question in the trial is why he did it. He says he thought she was a burglar and made a tragic mistake. Prosecutors say the couple argued and he shot her in anger. The testimony continues.
Robyn Curnow is live from South Africa at 6 and 8, and legal analysts Danny Cevallos and Sunny Hostin stop by at 7.
4. MEXICAN DRUG LORD
Dead again? Mexican authorities say they gunned down notorious cartel leader Nazario Moreno Gonzalez yesterday. Sounds like a victory in the war on drugs, right? Maybe. Here's the head scratcher. He was supposed to be dead already - in a 2010 shootout with armed forces. The problem is they never found a body after his "first death." This time, Mexican officials say, it's for real. They've already confirmed fingerprints and are waiting for DNA results.
This is a picture of Mexican cartel leader Moreno taken from a page of a book he wrote.
5. VAN DER SLOOT EXTRADITION
See you in 2038: The government of Peru has agreed to extradite the man considered to be the prime suspect in the disappearance of American Natalee Holloway. But there's a catch: They'll have to wait until Joran van der Sloot is done serving a 28-year murder sentence. U.S. authorities accuse him of extorting money from Holloway's mother by offering bogus information about her daughter's disappearance. He's been indicted on federal charges. Holloway, an 18-year-old from Alabama, was last seen in the early hours of May 30, 2005, leaving a nightclub in Aruba with van der Sloot and two other men. Holloway's body has never been found, and she was declared legally dead in 2012. Nobody has been charged in her disappearance.
Michaela Pereira has news headlines throughout the morning.
Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a few others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.
- All the buzz at the spelling bee: Seventh-grader Kush Sharma wins the Kansas City spelling bee after 90 rounds in an epic duel with Sophia Hoffman.
- Guess again, dawg: You know the old Mark Twain expression: “It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.” It's a nice thought, but this little pug would have made a tasty snack if the handlers for this K9 cop hadn't kept the two separate.
- Popcorn 411: Here's a nerdy look at one of our favorite movie snacks.
- He putts swimmingly: Hmm. Apparently, Michael Phelps can golf a little, too. Watch him sink this monster putt.
- Minor chords, major difference: The "New Day" blog reaches out to the music geeks in our audience. (You know who you are.) What if the "Star Wars" theme were played in a minor key? It made R2D2's head spin, just sayin'.
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!