March 12th, 2014
04:48 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Frustration surrounds the search for a missing Malaysian airliner, there was toilet door testimony in the Oscar Pistorius trial, and winter lingers as a snowstorm whips the Midwest and Northeast.

It's Wednesday, and here are the "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

1. MISSING PLANE

The search continues: It's been more than four days since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared over Southeast Asia. And Malaysian officials not only don't know what happened to the plane, they aren't even clear where to look. The lack of direction prompted Vietnam to say Wednesday that it's pulling back from the search efforts until Malaysia comes up with better information.

2. JOSH HARDY CASE

New meds, sick boy: After days of pleading with drug company executives, Josh Hardy's parents got what they'd been praying for: a chance to get medicine that could help their son survive. The Chimerix pharmaceutical company said yesterday that the ailing 7-year-old will receive the medicine when a new clinical trail starts today. Left with a weak immune system because of cancer treatments, Josh is in heart and kidney failure. Doctors hope the medicine will stabilize his condition.

3. UKRAINE CRISIS

A one-way street? Things are moving quickly in Crimea. The new pro-Russian government on the peninsula in Ukraine's southeast said yesterday that if voters opt to join Russia during this weekend's referendum, the first step will be to declare Crimea an independent and sovereign state. Then it will apply to join the Russian Federation. Its representatives have already approached Moscow with their idea, and Russian leaders have greeted them with open arms. Here are the choices for the voters: Remain an autonomous state within Ukraine, or join the Russian Federation.

Crimea is outlined in the map below.

140306121111-ukraine-crimea-odessa-map-story-top

4. PISTORIUS TRIAL

Toilet door testimony: The prosecution called a forensics expert on day eight of the Oscar Pistorius trial. Central to Col. J.G. Vermeulen's testimony was the bathroom door the Olympian beat with a cricket bat and blasted with his gun. The angle at which Pistorius struck the door with the bat and fired the shots should help establish whether he was on his stumps or standing on his prosthetics at the time of the attack. The defense says Pistorius thought an intruder was in the house when he killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. They say he felt vulnerable because he was on his stumps when he opened fire.

5. LATE-WINTER STORM

Just stop already: You've got to give the groundhog credit. He's getting every last drop out of his forecast of six more weeks of winter. Just as the jonquils and tulips are poking their leaves above ground, a monster of a storm is sweeping across the Midwest, up the Great Lakes and into the Northeast. Chicago is expected to get up to 8 inches of snow. Blizzard warnings are up for western New York, where up to 18 inches is forecast. The story is pretty much the same all the way through Maine.

US
From the National Weather Service

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

- Street cred: This street performer seems to have the whole juggling thing down pat.

- Another fake: 20 million people have viewed this short film showing 20 strangers kissing for the first time. But it really wasn't a short film, and they weren't strangers, though the kisses look real. Anyway, it was a clothing ad stocked with models and actors.

- Man vs. machine: Is this showdown real or just an overhyped YouTube video for a robotics company? You be the judge.

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 26th, 2014
04:41 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day –Wednesday, February 26

President Obama has blunt words for his Afghan counterpart. An anti-gay bill is in the Arizona governor's court. And obesity rates have plummeted among U.S. children.

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

1. AFGHANISTAN DEAL

U.S. running out of patience: We're not bluffing: That's what the Obama administration told Afghanistan yesterdayIf no bilateral security deal is signed, the U.S. says it's planning to withdraw all its troops from the nation by the end of the year. The White House statement showed President Obama's impatience with President Hamid Karzai's refusal to sign the agreement, which would keep thousands of American troops in the country after combat operations conclude this year.

What does this mean for both nations? Barbara Starr tells us at 6.

2. OBESITY RATES

Sharp drop among children: The scales are tipping – in a good way – for the nation’s smallest eaters.  Obesity rates  for those ages 2 to 5 years have plummeted over the past decade, a new study shows. Between 2003 and 2012, obesity rates for those ages declined from 14% to 8%.  Great news, hopefully enduring. But experts say the fight is far from over.  "We still have a long way to go before we solve this problem once and for all," first lady Michelle Obama said yesterday. She has been instrumental in pushing the Lets Move! campaign to fight obesity.

What's behind the drop? Joe Johns brings us the latest at 6.

3. ARIZONA ANTI-GAY BILL

The bill's in her court: To sign or not to sign? That’s the question for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. All signs indicate she'll probably veto the bill, which would allow the use of religious beliefs as a basis for businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians. Supporters say it promotes religious freedom; opponents say it discriminates. In an exclusive interview with CNN in Washington, Brewer did not signal her intention either way. "I'm going to go home, and when I receive the bill, I'm going to read it and I'm going to be briefed on it. And I will make my decision in the near future," she said.

Ana Cabrera is live all morning with the latest.

4. AIR MARSHALS

Numbers pared down: This doesn't sound good. The number of plainclothes  federal officers protecting aircraft from terrorists has gone down in the past three years, according to an internal e-mail obtained by CNN. The exact number of marshals is secret, and the Homeland Security Department declined to say how many positions have been eliminated. Nor would it say what percentage of marshal positions were cut. But that's disconcerting news just days after the U.S. warned of shoe bomb threats.

5. OKLAHOMA DEATH

New video, more questions: Relatives of a man who died after a struggle with cops at an Oklahoma movie theater released a cell phone video showing five officers restraining him on the ground. His wife, Nair Rodriguez, shot the video of her husband, Luis Rodriguez, outside a Moore theater this month. But questions remain about the manner of his death, and why the altercation between his wife and daughter prompted police action.

luiz

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

Runaway koala: Everyone fantasizes about breaking free from life's constraints. Mundu, a curious koala at the San Diego Zoo, did just that.  The 2-year-old escaped from his enclosure yesterday and spent the day sleeping in a tree high above his exhibit. Zoo officials say he’s on  the cusp of sexual maturity, and with raging hormones, he's constantly testing limits. Rage on, lil' fella. Rage on.

Close encounter: Girl gets whacked in the head by a whale. Maybe it just wanted a high-five?

Hands-free selfies: No more straining your arms for a good shot. The CamMe App lets you prop up your phone and take a picture from 16 feet away.  Just raise your fist to activate a 3-second timer, pose and off it goes. Clever, right? And free.

 

Oh, bear: We nearly overlooked this video of frolicking bear cubs. Until one of them started twerking, and we were sold. See how much thought goes into this?

 

Special kinda genius:  Oh, what to do when your car stalls? I know, I know! Tie it to a random bus for a free tow. Then sit back and watch the hilariously bad end result.

 

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 19th, 2014
04:09 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Wednesday, February 19

Protests rage in three continents. A juror in the Michael Dunn trial says he's guilty.  And a whole lot of skating will be going on at the Winter Olympics.

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

1. PROTESTS WORLDWIDE

Down with the government: In Ukraine, in Thailand, in Venezuela, protesters have taken to the streets calling for change.  Their grievances are different. But the focus is the same: dissatisfaction with their government.

Ukraine:  At least 25 people were killed yesterday in the bloodiest day since the protests started in November. The protesters are ready to stand and fight again today. The president’s dug in his heels as well. Last night, he issued this ultimatum to the protesters: Renounce the violence – or pay the price.

Thailand: Protesters in Bangkok are demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. They allege she's a puppet of her billionaire brother, the deposed, exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Venezuela: Better security, an end to goods shortages and protected freedom of speech are the rallying cries. Protesters  blame the government, led by President Nicolas Maduro, for those problems. He blames the opposition.

More on the  crisis in three continents here.

Phil Black is live from Kiev while Karl Penhaul is live from Venezuela all morning.

 

2. MICHAEL DUNN TRIAL

Jury's thought process: Days after Michael Dunn was found guilty of three counts of attempted murder and one count of shooting into an occupied vehicle,  juror No. 4 is speaking out. And she believes he should have been convicted of first-degree murder. In an exclusive interview with ABC’s “Nightline,” she explains why they were deadlocked on the first-degree murder charge in the death of Jordan Davis, the Florida teen shot by Dunn after an altercation over loud music.

3. WINTER OLYMPICS

Race for gold: If you love hockey, pick up some extra drinks and snacks for today’s men's quarterfinals.  There’s just a lot of skating going on, period.  Let's see, seven-plus hours of hockey and the start of the women's figure skating competition. And, add to that, Britain’s curling team has to be feeling pretty darn good right now. Trailing by one and going into the last end, the men rallied and advanced to today’s semifinals. That’s not all, we got you covered on the five things to watch today.

Rachel Nichols will give us the daily wrap-up all morning.

4. CRUISE SHIP ATTACK

Alleged rape, beating: The fight started over an alleged slight and ended with an accusation of attempted murder. A room service attendant is accused of breaking into a passenger’s room, raping and beating her, and trying to throw her overboard, a criminal complaint states.  It says the attendant attacked the American woman after he knocked on her door several times to deliver breakfast, and she responded, “Wait a minute, son of a bitch!”

Victor Blackwell is live with the latest all morning.

5. BOWE BERGDAHL 

Conflicting policies: No negotiating with terrorists versus leave no soldier behind. That’s the quandary the United States faces in the plight of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The soldier has been held by insurgents in Pakistan since 2009. And now, sensitive discussions with overseas contacts are under way to secure his release, a U.S. official says. Bergdahl is the lone U.S. soldier held in captivity.

Barbara Starr will give us the latest at 7.

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

Fetch, doggie, fetch: Um, never mind.  This pup is the worst at fetch. Really, a cat could do better. But you get a B for effort, little buddy.

Music to our ears:  Finally, a reason to own a dot-matrix printer! It plays the best version of "Eye of the Tiger."

Surprise!! Sometimes, daddy jumping out of the birthday gift box is better than that bike you wanted so badly.

Kiss off:  This brother finds a smart way to get out of planting one on his sister’s cheek when the “Kiss Cam” at a Minnesota Gophers game hones in on them.

Well at least he didn’t run away … like this guy.

Those two should get some tips from David Beckham and his daughter.

Here’s to hoping you’re sitting next to (insert your favorite celeb here) next time a Kiss Cam sweeps through!

Selfie power: Speaking of celebs, you know who won during Jimmy Fallon’s  “Tonight Show” debut yesterday?  Stephen Colbert, that’s who. Not only did he deliver some hilarious lines, he has a selfie to show for it.

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 28th, 2014
02:49 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A deep freeze sends the South shuddering. Obama faces a big test. A folk icon passes away. And Mexico's sole entrant to the Winter Olympics competes for the title of "best dressed."

It's Tuesday, and here are the “5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

1. WINTER WEATHER

The big chill: The Deep South will be in the deep freeze. The Big Easy will become the Big Icy. And Hotlanta will be more like Hurtlanta. It'll be brrrrutally cold today, folks. C-O-L-D!! As in French Quarter-shutting-down cold. As in the world's busiest airport-canceling-hundreds-of-flights cold. As in, the polar vortex-don't-play cold.

"Limbs will break. Trees will fall. Power will be out."
- Robert Latham, emergency management director for Mississippi, where up to 4 inches of snow may fall

Bundle up, stock up and stay safe. If you hit the road, take a fully charged cell phone. And if you go to the store, don't be greedy - save a loaf for your fellow man.
More: Deep freeze stretches down to Gulf Coast

We'll have Ted Rowlands, Chad Myers and Indra Petersons - all through the morning, all bringing you the latest

2. STATE OF THE UNION

A defining test: This time last year, President Obama laid out several priorities in his State of the Union address. How many did he get through Congress? Zip. Congress ignored his calls for a new jobs program, for new gun controls and for sweeping immigration reform.

That's why tonight's address is a biggie. Can Obama rebuild his standing? Force action on some of his priorities? Or will this be another year of gridlock - a gateway to "lame duck" status?
More: State of the Union speech is crunch time for Obama

This morning, senior White House correspondent Brianna Keilar will offer us a preview of the address. Commentators Kevin Madden and Paul Begala will give us their take. In the 7 o' clock hour, we will hear from Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and in the 8 o' clock hour, from White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

3. NORTH CAROLINA POLICE SHOOTING

"God's will will be done": That's Jonathan Ferrell's mother, Georgia, after a second grand jury indicted the cop who shot her unarmed son to death. The word "second" is important here. The first one refused to.

You may remember the case: Officer Randall Kerrick of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD fatally shot Ferrell after a woman - home alone with her 1-year-old child - called 911 and reported someone was trying to break down her front door. This was last September, and Ferrell was reportedly seeking help after a car crash.

Last week, a grand jury declined to indict Kerrick. But prosecutors sent the case back. And yesterday, the officer was indicted on a voluntary manslaughter charge.

"It is the first step towards justice"
- Charles Monnett, Ferrell family attorney

More: 2nd grand jury indicts officer in shooting of ex-FAMU football player
At 7, Jean Casarez will break down why prosecutors sought a second grand jury and why the defense is vehemently objecting.

4. MIZZOU RAPE INVESTIGATION

A complicated case: Sasha Menu Courey was a freshman on the University of Missouri swim team when she was allegedly raped by a football player. Her parents say she told a campus nurse and a campus doctor about it, but the school didn't investigate. The school says it wasn't told about the suspected attack because one of its policies doesn't allow staffers to report sexual assaults without a victim's consent.

Courey committed suicide in 2011. And now, after a piece by ESPN's "Outside the Lines," the school has referred the case to the Columbia PD for investigation.

"Our detectives will do the best they can. ... It was not reported to us until now, and we are almost four years behind."
- Columbia Police Sgt. Joe Bernhard

More: Police investigate alleged rape of collegiate swimmer who died in suicide

5. PETE SEEGER

An icon passes: He was an iconoclast. A legend. A tireless activist who gave voice to the voiceless until the very end. Pete Seeger, the man considered the father of folk music and who inspired legions of activist singer-songwriters, died yesterday. His grandson told CNN that the 94-year-old singer died of natural causes.

Regardless of how old you are, there's bound to be one Pete Seeger song or another that has touched you, roused you to action or, at the very least, prompted you to hum along: "Where have all the flowers gone," "Guantanamera," "Turn, turn, turn."

We learned of Seeger's death early this morning. And the tributes and tweets followed almost immediately.

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

- Just say No: So, this is a police dash cam video of a man being pulled over and arrested, while his girlfriend sobs hysterically. Except it isn't. The dude planned the whole thing with the cops as a romantic (??) ploy to propose to his woman. You'd think she'd say no after a stunt like that. But alas. "It went from being the most devastating thing I have had to witness, to feeling the most ecstatic I have ever felt."

- Take notes, Mr. Traffic-Stop Proposer: This is how you do romantic: Guy surprises his fiancee by restoring her childhood teddy bear. Whitey was in two pieces - head ripped off; his nose, ear and eyes missing; and his stuffing gone. And he was very, very special. "Whitey was given to her as a gift during her mother's baby shower for Jess, so he is technically older than she is!" Her reaction is priceless!

- Christmas redemption:  Did you blow it with your Christmas gifts this year?  Struggled with what to get that guy who has everything?  How about a RAPTOR CAGE used in "Jurassic Park"? It could be yours for only $100,000 (well, probably more by the time bidding wraps up).  It’s worth it though; it even comes with a full-size raptor (though we're guessing it’s a prop).

- Weather cancellation: Said one Redditor: "And that's why they'll never find Sasquatch."

- Sports made fabulous: Finally, we give you Hubertus von Hohenlohe, eclectic rich German nobleman and Mexico's sole entrant at the Winter Olympics. The 55-year-old's an alpine skier and a six-time Olympian. He's never medaled and doubts he'll take the gold this time. But he wants to win the title of "best dressed." And so, he'll compete in this mariachi-themed costume:

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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