February 5th, 2014
04:36 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Wednesday, February 5

Terror overshadows athletics as the Sochi Olympics near, police make arrests in connection with Philip Seymour Hoffman's drug supply, and a winter storm is piling on the snow and ice in the Northeast.

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


Not a fan: The Olympic torch arrived in Sochi, Russia, today, and most Americans aren't too thrilled – with that country, its anti-gay laws or its President Vladimir Putin. That's what a new CNN poll says today. About 55% don't like Russia, and even more expect a terror attack in coming weeks. Speaking of which: You might start hearing the name Imarat Kavkaz. It means Caucasus Emirate and stands for a radical Islamist group that wants a holy state in the area around Sochi. U.S. officials say they pose the biggest terror menace to the Games.

Barbara Starr reports live on the U.S. angle at 6 and 8. Ivan Watson covers the Russian side at 6 and 8.


Glassine bags: Those are small envelopes that dealers use to package drugs. Police say they found 350 yesterday on four people they arrested. They might be connected with the drugs in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s apartment. Police also looked into what the actor was up to before he died. Turns out he pulled $1,200 from an ATM on Saturday while talking to a couple of guys.

Nischelle Turner reports at 6 and 8.


Too quick on the trigger: Remember Christopher Dorner, that ex-Los Angeles Police Department officer who went on a guerrilla warfare rampage last year over his firing? He killed a former police captain's daughter and led police on a massive manhunt that ended in a wild shootout at a burning cabin. Back then, some officers overreacted and shot up a pickup truck passing by. It injured two women. Now eight of the officers face discipline – from getting intensive training to getting fired.

After Dorner’s rampage, 69 fired officers came forward, saying unfair firings at the LAPD were par for the course.


Northeast snow lowdown: One, two, three … days of snow in a row. Today’s dump: about a foot of flakes flutter down in Boston. NYC will see a 6-inch layer of new snow fall on top of a record 8 inches that fell Monday. Ice that layer cake with about an inch of crunchy freezing rain. The storm will kick a foot of white over upper New York state, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Chad Myers has the weather forecast at 6, 7 and 8.


It still stinks: Weeks after that chemical spill in the Elk River, that’s what people are telling Erin Brockovich about their tap water. The smell’s especially bad when they heat it. An independent CNN test in two Charleston households says that the levels of the chemical in the drinking water are safe now by CDC standards. But the activist still says: Don’t drink it! A federal grand jury thinks the spill may amount to a crime.

Drew Griffin reports on the chemical traces in West Virginia taps at 7.

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

Instagram, Atari style: What if Instagram had been invented back in the day of the Atari, when you listened to the Bee Gees on cassette tapes? Totally tubular!

Eschew! A shoe! Bless you! And “achoo” is the correct spelling … in English anyway. For other languages, see this cartoon.


Happy pill backfires: What if “Not Having Kids” was a prescription drug for couples? The label warns that it might have some whopping side effects later in life. Like loneliness.

Uh, blader scoot? Scat blooter? This whatchamacallit is made out of parts from a scooter and from roller blades. Weird, but a very cool ride if you've got $610 handy.

Air guitar? Never. Well, OK. The guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers never wanted to mime guitar while music played from a recording. But he was unplugged for Super Bowl halftime. Had to. Flea explains it here.


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!

February 4th, 2014
05:23 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Tuesday, February 4, 2014

NYC breaks a snow record, quick thinking by a 911 operator saves a woman from her abductor, and a castaway says he survived adrift at sea for 13 months on faith and fish.

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


Restroom rescue: A 911 operator got a bright idea, and it ended up saving a woman from a convicted killer who carjacked her. Her instructions? Tell him you need to go to the bathroom. Michael Elliot’s a deadly, dangerous man. He was sitting in jail for 20 years for killing four people, but this past weekend, he busted out. Then he grabbed a hammer and a box cutter and used them as weapons to hijack a jeep in Michigan, and he abducted the woman driving it. But he made a mistake. He got out of the car to pay for gas, and his hostage sneaked in a call to 911. The operator told her to plea for a bathroom break, lock herself inside and not come out. It worked. Elliot banged on the door at first, but then he just drove off without the hostage. Police caught up with him in Indiana.


Thank you, sir. May I have another? First, a record amount of snow smacks New York City and parts nearby yesterday – that includes a record 8 inches in Central Park. Then a second winter storm starts dishing out punishment, and it may get even worse. It’s hitting the Plains States this morning, and it’s supposed to race through the Midwest later today, dumping about 6-10 inches. And tomorrow? Yep. NYC and its neighbors get it again – 9 inches on top of those 8 from yesterday. Here come those flight cancellations all over again, and in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie has already declared a state of emergency.

Chad Myers gives us the weather report at 6, 7 and 8.


The final hours: A four-shot espresso over ice with milk. That’s how Hoffman started his day Saturday – with his usual drink at his regular coffee shop, Chocolate Bar on Eighth Avenue. He chatted up the staff as usual – never made a big deal out of being a star – and seemed to be in a good mood. Next morning, he was dead in his own apartment, and it looked very, very much like a drug overdose. A friend found him there with a needle in his arm, and as it turns out Hoffman had a collection of syringes, envelops of white powder – maybe heroin – and a good many prescription drugs in his place. What happened between that cup of coffee and his death comes across as a bit of a hodgepodge. Some people said he seemed just fine; others – his ex-wife, for example – said he was pretty stoned and out of it.

Nischelle Turner joins us at 6 and 8 to report; Dr. Drew Pinsky talks about Hoffman's addiction at 7.


Guilt by association: It’s because he was Amanda Knox’s boyfriend. Raffaele Sollecito told CNN yesterday that that’s why he was convicted of murder. To get things straight, Italian courts first convicted them, then acquitted them, then convicted them again in the murder of Meredith Kercher. She had been found stabbed to death in the house she shared with Knox in Perugia, Italy. Police nabbed Sollecito near the border with two other countries after the second guilty verdict came down. He says that he had been out of the country and was heading back to Italy at the time to fight the guilty verdict, which he really wasn’t expecting.

Sollecito speaks at 7 and 8.


Faith, fish, rain and urine: It may sound hard to believe, but that’s what Jose Salvador Alvarenga says kept him alive for the 13 months he was lost at sea. He told CNN he was adrift in the Pacific Ocean that long, then his broken-down boat hit a coral atoll not too, too far from Australia. That’s where he was found – pretty darn far from Mexico, where he lives. There were times when Alvarenga wanted to take a knife to himself and end it all. But he says he was too scared to do it. Besides, his faith told him he was going to make it. The Mexican government said he is who he claims he is, but it’s still checking out that story. He looks awfully healthy for what he says he’s gone through.

John Berman reports at the man lost at sea at 7.

Here's an extra biggie, a shocking one.


The Rapist Next Door: Alaska's rape rate is the highest in the country – three times the national average. To find out why, CNN’s John Sutter went to Alaska to talk with victims, politicians – and the rapists. You voted for him to cover this topic as part of CNN's Change the List project.

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

Artful dodger: The year’s just begun and we already have an entry into the top 10 dashcam dashes of 2014. A car weaves, spins out across four lanes of traffic and lands perfectly in a parking space – like the whole thing was on purpose. (Don’t try it yourself.)

Is this the real life? No parent likes to hear that school’s been canceled yet again. So, props to Stephens Elementary School principal James Detwiler, who decided to deliver the bad news by belting out that school’s out to the tune of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Parents deserve the chuckle, he said.

Smitten kitten: “Simon’s Cat” cartoons always go viral in a snap. In the latest one, with Valentine’s Day’s on the way, kitty hunts up a scrumptious morsel for the apple of his eye. But she’s a sourpuss. Rats!

The best Super Bowl ad you’ve never seen: This ain’t no mammoth-budget Hollywood horror flick. It’s an ad. For a personal injury lawyer. In Savannah, Georgia. Jaw-dropping freaky.

Cross-eyed magic Get ready to tie your optical nerves in knots. Remember magic eye posters, where you could contort your eyes to see a 3-D object? Here’s a whole music video done that way. It works best full screen.

*If you’re good at crossing your eyes, use this version:

*If you’re better at endless blank stares, use this one:

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!

January 24th, 2014
05:32 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Friday, January 24, 2014

Justin Bieber gets a mug shot and a day in court in Miami, a Kansas judge sticks a sperm donor with a child support bill, and notorious "goodfellas" face charges for a famous heist.

Welcome to the Friday edition of “5 Things to Know for Your New Day.”

Just in jail briefly: A Miami policeman pulls over a yellow Lamborghini at 4 in the morning for drag racing, going 60 in a 30 zone. Window rolls down. This is how the officer says the rest happened: 19-year-old driver looks, sounds, smells … stoned. It’s Justin Bieber. He says, “What the f*** did I do?" Gets mad, resists the officer, policeman takes him in. Bieber gets an orange jumpsuit, goes into lockup. Says something about having drunk, smoked pot, taken some prescription meds, said the officer. Later, he sees a judge who gives him $2,500 bail – standard rate. He's free. Bieber jumps back into party clothes, leaves the jail, goes to greet screaming fans outside, gets chauffeured off in a black Cadillac Escalade.

In light of the trouble he's seen since allegations surfaced that he egged his neighbor's house, it seems Bieber looked for inspiration to get him through tough times:

Bieber’s arrest photo is no ugly mug. It’s really cute and has inspired some fun on the Internet.

Tory Dunnan tells us what's up with Bieber at 6, 7 and 8.

Who’s your daddy? The sperm donor is, said a Kansas judge this week, so, now, William Marotta is stuck with a bill for child support. That’s not right, he says, and he’s fighting the decision. Back in 2009, he answered a Craigslist ad from a lesbian couple who wanted to get pregnant. He says he took no money for his genetic material, which was used for artificial insemination – and he made a contract with the couple. It said they would be financially responsible for the child, not him. A daughter was born, but then trouble came. One of the women turned to the state for financial assistance, and the state turned to Marotta. Judge Mary Mattivi cited a medical detail in her decision to leave Marotta with the bill: The insemination was not performed by a doctor.

Another case of sperm donation is making news. Two college friends had so much in common that they decided to look into it. Turns out they were both conceived with sperm from the same donor.

Naked embarrassment: Hunter Moore was once dubbed the "most hated man on the Internet" and the "Revenge Porn King." But now, the brash Californian is at risk of getting a new title: Felon. Moore, who is 27, founded the now defunct "revenge porn" website. The idea was for jilted lovers – men – to post explicit photos of their exes to the site to shame them. There was an outcry, and the site came down. Yesterday, Moore was arrested and accused of hacking into people's e-mail accounts to steal nude photos to post online. Another man, Charles Evens, who is 25, was also arrested. He is believed to be involved in the scheme as well.

Out of a gangster flick: "Wiseguys." "Goodfellas." That’s what the federal government called five reputed mobsters indicted yesterday. The alleged heist they got busted for served as inspiration for a famous movie that came out in 1990 – “Goodfellas,” directed by Martin Scorsese. The men are accused of ripping off $5 million in cash and $1 million in jewelry from a Lufthansa Airlines building at JFK in 1978. It was the biggest cash robbery in the nation’s history at the time. A U.S. district attorney says not to be blinded by any entertainment value in the case, because the alleged crime families involved live by a code of brutal violence.

Tensions and explosions: Cairo residents woke up to black smoke and powerful explosions early today. The attacks near various police stations killed four people and injured 50 others, authorities said. They hit key symbols of authority in a country shaken by political turmoil and violent unrest recently. And they came a day before the third anniversary of the revolution that brought down authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak. A suicide bomber was suspected in at least one of the attacks.


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

Mayor Rob Ford in "Jeopardy": Actually ON "Jeopardy," as a quiz question. The answer is “What is Toronto?” The question? It’ is pretty “dopey.” See for yourself. The video is all the “buzz.” (Sorry, just had to.)

Here’s CNN’s latest story on Toronto’s mayor.

Oh, deer! A man wards off attacks by an angry, determined Bambi, keeping it from butting him below the belt.

Paradise depot: In many hearts, toy trains occupy a very special place. For one Oregon man, they literally take up acres. Real steam and diesel engines clickity-clack down miles of rail, through tunnels, over trestles. They are rideable … and for sale with house and land for $3.5 million.

Lava lamps: People can stare at those for hours. That might explain why this video’s going viral. Real lava – 1,000 to 2,000 degrees hot – vs. cans of Coke. Neato!

Enter your pass code, then press #: Conference calls. Argh. Boo-doop sounds in mid-sentence when people enter the call. Music, when someone puts it on hold. One caller keeps dropping. Barking dogs, flushing toilets – or worse – in the background. Care to see all that instead of just hearing it?

Here’s an extra one for animal lovers:

Not mouse – but cat – clicks: A cat loves to play with a laser pointer and imitates the clicking sound it makes when its owner turns it on.

There you go. All you need to know to get an early start to your morning. Be sure to tune into “New Day" from 6 to 9 a.m. ET, join us at CNN.com/NewDay, and go and have a GREAT NEW DAY.

January 23rd, 2014
05:16 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Thursday, January 23, 2014

E-mailed terror threats add to the tension in Sochi, Texas carries out an execution over Mexico’s objections, and Iran says dismantling centrifuges is not part of the deal.

Welcome to the Thursday edition of “5 Things to Know for Your New Day.”

Ring of steel: When you hear those words, you probably think: Sochi Olympics. They translate into swarms of police, surveillance cameras and bomb detectors. The uber-security's tightening as tensions rise over terror threats in the run-up to the Winter Games in Russia. Yesterday, ominous e-mails containing terrorism threats went out to participating countries and to the Olympic committee. They were discounted. But real or not, they land on top of recent real deadly attacks and raging armed operations against terror suspects in Dagestan. There's also a lot of talk of “black widows,” potential female suicide bombers who might make it through the ring.

Russian treatment of gay and lesbian citizens has been a contentious issue, but President Vladimir Putin said people attending the Games “can feel safe” from homophobia. "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart begs to differ.

Nick Paton Walsh reports from Russia at 6, 7 and 8.

Cross-border grievance: Yesterday, the state of Texas executed Edgar Tamayo Arias, 46, by lethal injection. Officials have expressed little doubt about his conviction for killing a policeman about 20 years ago. Yet both the Bush and Obama administrations urged the state to give Arias a new hearing - for diplomatic reasons. Arias was a Mexican national, and his lawyers said his consular rights were denied, which kept him from getting the best possible defense. Now, the State Department is worried about the effect his execution could have on Americans arrested in other countries. Mexico's government strongly objected to it.

The fight goes on: There has been a new twist in the tragic case of Marlise Munoz, who is languishing on life support. Her family still wants her taken off, because - as they insist - she's brain dead. The hospital in Fort Worth doesn't deny that, but it has refused to disconnect Munoz, saying there is a law in Texas against refusing treatment to a woman carrying a child. But now, lawyers for the family say the fetus is severely damaged. When Munoz fell unconscious in November, oxygen was cut off to the fetus, too. As a result, it's deformed and has water on the brain and, on top of that, possibly a heart problem. They say it can’t thrive in Munoz's deteriorating body.


Dismantle? No: Who said that’s part of the deal? Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told CNN that Tehran didn't agree to break down any centrifuges. That wasn't part of the recent agreement to ease sanctions, Zarif said in an exclusive interview. Iran is required to dilute its stockpile of weapons-grade enriched uranium and not make any more of it. Zarif accused the White House of using language that mischaracterizes the agreement. It “underplays the concessions and overplays Iranian commitments,” he said. He's afraid the alleged spin will create false expectations and disappointment. He's even willing to take back his comments to CNN, if anyone can find any mention of dismantling in the deal.

Fareed Zakaria speaks to us about Iranian President Rouhani at 6, and Jim Sciutto tells us about his interview with Zarif at 7.

Child hero dies Eight-year-old Tyler Doohan spent his last moments saving other people’s lives, six in all. His relatives’ mobile home in upstate New York caught fire, while he was sleeping over there, and he got most of them out, including two young children. Then he went back into the burning home to get his grandfather, who he was very attached to - and who was also disabled. The two succumbed to heat and smoke, the fire department said. Their bodies were found next to each other.

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

A picture’s worth a thousand bucks: George Zimmerman, who sold his first painting on eBay for a whopping $100,000, is at it again. And this time his subject is the woman who charged him with second-degree murder: special prosecutor Angela Corey.

Hello, goodbye: “Love! Love will keep us together.” And through 39 years of marriage, it did. But now, Captain and Tennille are splitting up. On a happier note, Bill Cosby is back! His '80s family sitcom was such a ratings hit that NBC’s decided: Why not try that again?

My precious: Why wait till your baby’s born? For $600, one company will make a 3D version of your ultrasound so you can have your unborn spawn to swaddle and coddle. Isn’t that cute? No, not really.

3D baby

Picture perfect: There comes a time to check the last item off your bucket list. A group of German retirees, in their late 70s to 90s, got in front of a camera to reenact scenes from Hollywood classics. The result? The best calendar ever.


Slip slidin’ away: This park claims to have the highest, wildest water slide in the world. Dang, it’s hard not to believe it! They call it “verrückt.” That’s German for “crazy” – even if the thing is in Kansas.

Meta-cat: This video of a cat watching a cat video is cute because the cat watching the cat video looks behind the video screen for the cats in the cat video that the cat was watching. Ya dig? (Look what happens about 40 seconds in.)

There you go. All you need to know to get an early start to your morning. Be sure to tune into “New Day" from 6 to 9 a.m. ET, join us at CNN.com/NewDay, and go and have a GREAT NEW DAY.

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