Congress averts a government shutdown. Bill Cosby sort of breaks his silence. And more than a dozen people are held hostage at a Sydney cafe.
It's Monday, and here are the 5 things to know for your New Day.
More than a dozen hostages at cafe: An armed person/people took more than a dozen hostage in the heart of Sydney's business district, displaying a black flag with Arabic script in the window. Police surrounded the cafe for hours, and said it was unclear who the hostage taker was.
Breaks his silence, kinda: Amid mounting allegations against him, Bill Cosby has broken his silence. Well, sort of. Cosby, accused of rape and other misdeeds by an increasing number of women, was reached at home by a freelance reporter for the New York Post. Instead of addressing the allegations, he shared his opinion on how "black media" should cover his story. "Let me say this," the 77-year-old said. "I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that, you have to go in with a neutral mind."
Shutdown averted: The Senate approved a $1.1 trillion spending measure this weekend, funding most of the government through September, removing the threat of a shutdown for much of next year. The bipartisan 56-40 vote sends the bill to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.
Grand jury quandary: The grand jury in the case of Michael Brown's shooting didn't just face an onslaught of witnesses with conflicting memories of what happened the day police officer Darren Wilson killed Brown, an unarmed black teenager. It also heard from witnesses who couldn't be believed at all. Some admitted lying. Others changed their stories under questioning. Prosecutors were so skeptical of one woman's account that they asked whether she might have dreamed about seeing the confrontation in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9.
10 UNEQUAL CITIES
Biggest gap between the rich and poor: Miami. New York City. Los Angeles. These are great American cities with rich cultural histories. Their iconic skylines are well known in movies and street signs, and they attract tourists and celebrities from around the world. But they also have the unfortunate distinction of being three of the most unequal places in America. The gap between the rich and the poor is vast.
Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a couple of others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.
Elephant task: This has to be the most well-mannered elephant out there. How else do you explain its meticulous job of cleaning up trash with its trunk? Watch and learn, humans.
iHeart: This Apple holiday ad will warm the coldest heart.
All about that space: We always knew NASA was cool. But this parody of "All About That Bass” makes it waaaay cooler!
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!