December 19th, 2014
03:39 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Friday, December 19, 2014

The White House is set to blame North Korea for hacking Sony Pictures. Police investigate the deaths of eight kids in Australia. And the Dow has its best day in three years.

It's Friday and here are the 5 things to know for your New Day

1. SONY HACK – NORTH KOREA

Laying blame: It could be today when the Obama administration officially points the finger at North Korea for hacking Sony Pictures. Investigators say it was a sophisticated operation with hackers stealing the computer credentials of a system administrator to get access to Sony's computer system. As we now know, they pretty much had access to everything. The question is: How will the U.S. respond? There are high-level meetings taking place at the White House to decide exactly that. Officials say they haven't yet decided how to respond to the attack.

More on this story.

2. AUSTRALIA DEATHS

Police investigate: A gruesome scene in northeastern Australia today. Eight children have been found dead at a home in a suburb of Cairns, police said. They ranged in age from 18 months to 15 years. A woman was also seriously injured, but is in stable condition and helping authorities with the investigation. According to police, the woman is mother to seven of the eight children.

More on this story.

3. ISIS

Taking aim: U.S. airstrikes have killed two top-level and one mid-level ISIS leader, a senior U.S. military official tells CNN. Their deaths resulted from multiple strikes going back to mid-November, but it has taken until now to determine conclusively they were killed. Separately, Kurdish Peshmerga forces say they've recaptured territory near Sinjar Mountain in northern Iraq. They say the operation represents the single biggest and most successful military offensive against ISIS. The U.S. military says it has conducted 1,300 airstrikes to slow down ISIS.

More on this story.

4. STOCKS

Ho ho ho: That Santa Claus rally Wall Street was looking for finally got here. The Dow shot up 421 points yesterday for its best day in more than three years. The S&P 500 experienced its biggest gains since January 2013. Why now? Two reasons: The Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates low. That makes money inexpensive to borrow and should keep the economy humming along. Oil is cheap, which is good for everyone except the energy companies. With less money going in the gas tank, people will have more to spend on other things.

More on this story.

5. NASA CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

We see you: It's a bit of no-brainer, but still it's kind of fun. NASA says nighttime lights in U.S. urban areas shine 20-50% brighter during Christmas and New Year's compared to the rest of the year.

More on this story.

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

–Turkey Slurpee: It looks real, but are we missing some sort of camera trick? Don't choke. Seriously, don't choke.

- Photo booth proposal: Kevin surprises Molly by popping the question in an unlikely place. What do you think ladies, romantic?

- Pachyderm play: We're suckers for baby animals having fun together.

- Watch out: Always be careful when demolishing a crane

- Bedtime: Chuck the English bulldog loves his new bed.

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!

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