February 25th, 2014
05:14 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Tuesday, February 25

Arizona's governor has a choice to make on a controversial right-to-deny-service bill. Researchers are looking for answers after a mystery disease paralyzes limbs in five children. And Ukrainian lawmakers are in a hurry to create a new government with an ousted President on the run.

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

1. ARIZONA CONTROVERSY

Veto or not: It is decision time for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, and this one may not be easy. She has to decide if she will sign a bill that supporters say promotes religious freedom and opponents say discriminates against gays and lesbians. The bill could let business owners, as long as they assert their religious beliefs, deny service to gay and lesbian customers.

She has until Saturday morning to sign or veto the bill. If she does nothing, it automatically becomes law. What will she do? She's been a conservative champion, but Arizona GOP sources say she also considers herself pro-business, and some business leaders are encouraging her to oppose the measure.

Miguel Marquez reports at 6.

2. UKRAINE UNREST

Short-order government: After months of protests came to a head with deadly clashes and the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych last week, Ukrainian lawmakers are in a hurry to come up with an interim government that can steer the country until presidential elections in May. The interim President said that he aims to have a unity government by Thursday.

But even with Yanukovych gone - he's on the run, evading an arrest warrant - those in power face lots of challenges, including a division between the east and west of the country, and the intentions of Russia, a key backer of the former President.

Nick Paton Walsh will have the latest at 6.

3. MYSTERY ILLNESS

Polio-like syndrome in California: What caused five California children to be paralyzed in an arm or leg? Neurologists in that state are alerting the public about a polio-like syndrome that appeared in those children in 2012 and 2013. The emphasize that it appears to be very rare, but they want other doctors to be aware to help them determine the cause, and they want any other cases identified quickly. Researchers don't know what caused these cases, though it's not poliovirus, and they say similar syndromes pop up every couple of years elsewhere in the world.

On Monday evening, the parents of one of the children, 4-year-old Sofia Jarvis of Berkeley, told reporters that they've been told her left arm is permanently paralyzed. She goes to preschool and can write with her right hand. The difficulties? "Day to day getting dressed, tying her shoes, those things that she would normally be learning right now ... we are going to have to find a new way of doing," said her mother, Jessica Tomei.

Dan Simon will have the latest at 6.

4. SHRINKING THE ARMY

Smallest Army in 70 years? If U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has his way, the nation's Army would be cut to its lowest number of active-duty troops since the buildup to World War II. Hagel on Monday proposed a scaled-back military spending plan, one that he said would reflect the country's fiscal challenges but still let it dominate one war while still maintaining effective defenses for a second.

Expect a fight over this. Republican hawks have previously battled President Barack Obama's attempts to reduce defense spending as part of overall deficit reduction. And South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says proposed cuts to the National Guard are a "slap in the face" to anyone who has served in the reserve military force.

Barbara Starr will report live at 6.

5. TED NUGENT

Done with name calling? Republicans weren't happy with conservative rocker Ted Nugent after he called Obama a "subhuman mongrel," and apparently Nugent is listening. He apologized last week, and on Monday he told CNN that criticism by fellow conservatives persuaded him to give up name calling. He says he represents many of the people they do, and "I think I owe it to those great Americans to be more civil when I represent them." He also insisted that his "mongrel" remarks, made in an interview last month, were not racist.

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

- Harold Ramis' debilitating disease: People are mourning Harold Ramis, the actor, writer and director whose films include "Stripes," "Ghostbusters," "Groundhog Day" and "Analyze This." The disease that led to his death, vasculitis, is one of a family of maladies that can starve organs and cause painful tissue damage.

- Waffle taco: Taco Bell has announced a breakfast menu that's debuting in late March. The waffle taco in particular is getting attention on social media.

- If only it had thumbs: This dog would like to open a bag of marbles. It's not having much luck.

- That sinking feeling: BBC reporter Caroline Bilton drops from view during a live report.

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 13th, 2014
04:16 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Thursday, February 13, 2014

A debt ceiling crisis is halted. A package bomb has many searching for answers. And the wicked winter storm heads north.

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

1. WINTER STORM

Headed north: If folks in the Northeast want to get an idea of what's headed their way, all they have to do is look to the South. The monster winter storm walloped the South yesterday. Some states fared worse than others. Georgia learned a lesson from last time, it seems. Most stayed indoors. But did Charlotte or Raleigh have an Atlanta moment? Many in the Carolinas were telling stories of woe yesterday. Some told tales of being stuck in traffic for hours on icy, dangerous roads. Some had to seek shelter in malls or at work. Sound familiar Atlanta?

https://twitter.com/Dodge_Girl4011/status/433836284700667904

This wicked storm has left more than a half a million people without power and is blamed for 10 deaths. And it is headed to the East Coast today.

https://twitter.com/oldschool_28/status/433847462545989632

Indra Petersons, George Howell and Erin McPike will be part of our team covering this story throughout the show. William Bell, the mayor of Durham, North Carolina, joins us at 6. Patrick Cannon, the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina,  joins us at 7.

2. DEBT CEILING

Crisis averted: The Senate passed a bill that averted a disaster. Well at least it pushed it back for more than a year. Senators passed a measure yesterday allowing the government to borrow more money to pay its bills through March 2015. President Obama said he plans to sign the deal, effectively putting the debt ceiling issue to bed for awhile. Experts had warned that if the debt ceiling was not raised, it could have caused as many problems for the economy as a snow storm in the South.

Jim Acosta joins us at 6 and 8 for the latest on this issue.

3. WINTER OLYMPICS

Race for the gold: The United States is hopeful it will be a big day on the ice and ski slope today. Anything will be better than some of the losses the U.S. took yesterday. Many thought favorite Shani Davis would score a gold at the long-track speed skating event. But nope, Davis did not even get a medal.

Also the U.S. women's hockey team lost to its fierce rival, Canada. The U.S. did have some victories yesterday. And there is some hope today. Speedskater Heather Richardson is a heavy favorite in the long-track 1,000 meters event.

Rachel Nichols joins us for updates throughout the show. Olympic gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg joins us at 6.

4. LOUD MUSIC TRIAL

Decision day: A jury now decides whether a Florida man will go to prison for shooting at a car of unarmed teenagers. The jury gets the case after spirited closing arguments yesterday in the so-called loud music trial. The suspect, Michael Dunn, is accused of spraying an SUV full of unarmed teenagers following a fracas over loud music. A 17-year-old boy, Jordan Davis, died. Dunn, who faces life in prison, has said he fired out of self defense. He said the teens may have had a gun. But officers never found a gun or any weapon at the scene. The jury could make a decision today in the trial some have compared to the infamous Trayvon Martin case.

Alina Machado will join us at 6 and 8 to give us the latest on the trial. Legal expert Sunny Hostin will join us at 7 for analysis.

5. PACKAGE BOMB

Why? Who?: Those are the questions many are asking in Tennessee after a man was killed by a bomb sent in the mail. The package was delivered to the victim, a retired lawyer, Monday. A note was attached to it. And when the package exploded, it tore through the man's home, seriously injuring his wife. Days later, neighbors were bewildered. And the FBI is searching for clues.

Tune in to the News Headlines segment for this and other stories.

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

- Stop, collaborate and listen: This cool principal and helper told kids at a North Carolina school about a snow day in the hippest way imaginable. To the beat of Vanilla Ice's classic, "Ice, Ice, baby."

- Winter Games war: It is hard enough trying to ski downhill at the Winter Games. Just imagine if you were accosted by some of the villains from the dark side from the Star Wars movie. Can't imagine it? Well, watch this video.

- Sultry new name:  Sheila Ranea Crabtree of Pataskala, Ohio, is Sexy with a capital 'S.' That's not hyperbole. It's a fact. The 41-year-old former photographer legally changed her name to Sexy Ranea this week.

- Valentine's Day canceled: Men in north Georgia are off the hook. A local sheriff's department there called off Valentine's Day because of this monster storm. No reason to crash trying to brave the roads to pick up roses, right. Right?! But if you are as persistent as this little guy, not even the police will stop you from your Valentine.

- Earth eats Corvette That title sounds like a bizarre, campy movie. But this really happened in Kentucky when a sinkhole gobbled up some of the coolest cars ever. Just watch.

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 12th, 2014
05:10 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Southeast waits for a beastly winter storm. Shocking testimony rocks the loud music trial. And a state governor puts a historic halt on executions.

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

1. WINTER STORM

Ice, ice, maybe: The Southeast was waiting early today. Families were locked in their homes. Stores were ransacked for supplies. Road crews were ready. Thousands of flights were canceled. Now all that was left was the questions. Will this winter storm really be catastrophic? Should I have bought all these batteries, duct tape and milk? How long will I be stuck in my house with my wild kids? While in some areas the snowpocalypse had not descended early today, Southerners were heeding ominous warnings of the monstrous storm on its way.

Indra Petersons, Nick Valencia and Carol Costello will be part of our team covering this story throughout the show. John Kraft from Georgia Power joins us at 6.

2. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

Not on my watch: That's what Washington's governor said yesterday. Gov. Jay Inslee stepped in and put a halt to executions in the state. There are "too many doubts" and "too many flaws" in death penalty cases, the governor said. After months of review, Inslee said he's convinced that equal justice wasn't being served. The ban will stay as long as Inslee is governor, he says. Washington now joins many other states with doubts. Eighteen states have officially banned capital punishment as a matter of law. Seven others have had a moratorium imposed either by the courts or the governor.

Tune in to the News Headlines segment for this story and other stories.

3. WHITE HOUSE DINNER

Hollande, minus one: Yesterday's state dinner brought top Washington and Hollywood couples to the White House. But the most watched person may have been the one without a date: French President Francois Hollande. France's head man went stag to the soiree.  Recent news of an affair with an actress ended his longtime relationship with the woman once considered the nation's first lady. Hollande came alone but brought baggage, so to speak. But the French president's troubles at home was not mentioned last night at the party of movie stars and moguls.

The event is not just party. Work also gets done, the White House says. Before the party, Obama and Hollande met to tackle top issues the allies share. High on the list, officials say, is Syria and Iran.

Jim Acosta joins us at 7 to detail the highlights of the event.

4. LOUD MUSIC TRIAL

"Crazy with grief": Yeah, but not sad enough to call police after shooting a teenager. This is one of the revelations that came during shocking testimony at the so-called loud music trial yesterday. Michael Dunn, who is accused of fatally shooting a 17-year-old, said he never called the police after the killing. The reason? He doesn't know, Dunn said yesterday. "You're right. It sounds crazy. ... I can just tell you I didn't do it," Dunn testified. "It makes sense that I should have. We didn't. I can't tell you why." After learning that Jordan Davis, the teen, died, Dunn said he was "crazy with grief." Dunn is in the trial of his life. He is accused of spraying an SUV full of unarmed teenagers following a fracas over loud music. Dunn said he shot out of self defense. Closing arguments are set for today in a trial some have compared to the infamous Trayvon Martin case.

Alina Machado will join us at 6 and 8 to give us the latest on the trial. And legal experts Jeffrey Toobin, Kimberly Priest Johnson and Sunny Hostin will join us at 7 and 8 for analysis.

5. WINTER OLYMPICS

More medals?: The race for the gold continues today though the writing may be on the wall for some events. Staring at you Russian pairs figure skating dynamic duo. While it may be impossible to beat Russia's power couple in pairs figure skating today, there is still hope. And her name is Kelly Clark. Snowboarder Shaun White failed to score a medal yesterday on the halfpipe. But America has another chance with Clark. The Vermont snowboarder is a favorite today on the women's side of the halfpipe competition. She's been a champ 70 times and has won an Olympic gold before. She's one to watch.

Also an event to watch today is women's hockey. Today marks a big showdown between the United States and Canada, the two most dominant teams in the world play. Though this game is just in pool play and the two teams are expected to meet again in the medal round, this is still a big deal. Just ask some of the fans.

Rachel Nichols join us for updates throughout the show. Former Olympian Brian Boitano also joins us at 8.

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

- Free falling: If you ever wondered what it felt like to fall from a plane into a pig pen and then get nibbled by a hungry porker, watch this video.

- Sorry cat: This is touching. Literally. Watch how this cat reacts when his apology is not accepted.

- Giraffe stroll Is it too soon for another giraffe video in this blog? This one has a happier ending than the infamous giraffe video making the rounds now.

- Surprise Valentine's: Many women say they like a man full of romantic surprises. But this seems a little much.

- Drive, drive, drive! OK, let's vote. Who thinks this guy should have sped away the first time his passengers screamed for him to drive?

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 11th, 2014
04:16 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Georgia says it is prepared for the ice and snow, this time. Hospital patients in North Carolina may have been given an incurable disease. And U.S. commandos nab a terror suspect in 30 seconds.

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

1. WINTER STORM

A second chance: Two weeks after a few inches of snow paralyzed Atlanta and made Georgia a punchline to a national joke, it's back. Snow and sleet are on the way, forecasters say. And Tuesday night into Wednesday could be the worst. This time, Georgia officials say they’re ready. An emergency has been declared. The salt trucks are in place. Schools are closed. The National Guard is on alert.

The last ice storm, last month, forced children to spend the night at schools, stranded drivers on interstates and had government officials promising to do better next time. But who could have predicted that “next time” would happen so soon? Mother Nature must have a sense of humor.

Nick Valencia will brief us on winter storm preparations throughout the morning.

2. HOSPITAL APOLOGY

Exposed! Here’s something you never want to hear after surgery: You may have been exposed to an incurable disease. That’s what a North Carolina hospital told 18 patients recently. They may have been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob, the hospital said. The disease is a serious and incurable neurological disorder. It turns out that a patient at the hospital had the disorder, and surgical instruments were not given the enhanced sterilization needed when the disorder is detected. Experts say it is a low chance that the patients will get the disease. And the hospital apologized.

Tune in to the News Headlines segment with Michaela Pereira for this and other stories.

3. TERROR SUSPECT

Gone in 30 seconds: A new, dramatic video shows U.S. commandos nabbing a top terror suspect in Libya. And if you blink, you'll miss it. Here's how it went down: A dark car parks in front of a home. A white van stops next to it. Men leap from the van, pointing guns. They pull a man out and shove him into the van. The van speeds away. In less than 30 seconds, the United States had taken suspected al Qaeda member Anas al-Libi into custody. The security video of the lightning-quick capture was published yesterday in The Washington Post. Al-Libi is accused of having a key role in the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Africa. More than 200 died in those attacks. Al-Libi is now in New York awaiting trial.

This comes at the same time as other terror-related news has surfaced. The U.S. is in talks about making a strike on an American citizen involved with al Qaeda, a U.S. official tells CNN. The official would not say what country this suspect is in. But the report has sparked debate about the government killing its own citizens.

Alberto Gonzales, the former attorney general, will join us at 7 to talk about these stories.

4. HILLARY CLINTON

What is this, 1998? It may seem like a blast from the past, but the Monica Lewinsky scandal is now a hot news story again. You remember Lewinsky, the White House intern whom President Bill Clinton famously admitted to having an affair with. That was back in the late '90s. But now there is a new report that Hillary Clinton once told a close friend that Lewinsky was a "narcissistic loony toon." The report also details why Hillary Clinton decided to forgive her husband. The story comes as speculation heats up that the former New York senator and secretary of state is weighing a second run for the White House.

Athena Jones will give an update on this story at 6.

5. WINTER OLYMPICS

Tomato set to take flight: The man known as the Flying Tomato is set to vie for his a third gold in a row. American star snowboarder Shaun White will compete today in the halfpipe event. Well … hopefully. There has been some controversy about the halfpipe course. Some have said it is dangerous. Some have pushed for the event to be delayed.
The Olympic News Service said "several riders voiced concerns." The report said organizers are scrambling to fix the course. White has already pulled out of one event because of safety concerns, but he has said he has faith the halfpipe course will be ready.

Many will be watching. And this patriotic toddler may be the youngest fan, says his uncle, a CNN iReporter.
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Once just a man’s sport, women’s ski jumping makes its Olympic debut today. The jumps will be historic, as they come after a long battle by women who fought, even in court, to compete.

Another sport on social media, inspired by funnyman Jimmy Fallon, has been coming up with Winter Olympic-themed pickup lines. Check these out.

Rachel Nichols will give us the latest on the Games at 6 and 8.

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

- ‘Dumb’ mystery: The mystery behind “Dumb” Starbucks has been solved. Turns out the parody Starbucks that popped up in L.A. this weekend was actually run by a television comedian. And the real Starbucks is not laughing. Neither were local health officials. They closed the “dumb” place down.
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- Sam, I am: This one will make you cringe. Samuel L. Jackson took a Los Angeles entertainment reporter to task Monday after the reporter appeared to confuse the actor for Laurence Fishburne.

- Did I do that? A suicide bomb instructor in Iraq made a mistake when teaching a class, local police said. The result was 21 dead after an explosion yesterday in a home near Baghdad. In the rubble of the home, police found a video of the teacher showing how to place a bomb in a car. We don’t have that video, but here’s a classic video on an unfortunate weapons instructor.

- Bad dad or cool dad? We will not pass judgment on this one. You decide.

- Child star: Before Ron Howard, Gary Coleman, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, there was Shirley Temple, one of the most famous child actresses in Hollywood history. She died today, according to her publicist. She was 85. She starred in four massive box-office draws before she turned 10 and went on to an impressive life as an adult. Here's one of her many performances.

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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