5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Wednesday, August 28
August 28th, 2013
05:05 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Wednesday, August 28

American forces are waiting on the word to attack Syria, we mark the 50th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech, and a high school teacher in Montana gets a one-month sentence for raping a student – while the student kills herself.

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

Every weekday morning around 6, we’ll hit the top five stories of the day, clue you in on a few other buzzy items, and let you know about some of the must-watch stories coming up on CNN’s new morning show, “New Day.”

1. SYRIA CIVIL WAR

“We are ready to go”: Warships armed with cruise missiles plow the waters of the Mediterranean. Cabinet-level officials hold a National Security Council meeting at the White House on Tuesday night. And U.S. officials all but tell U.N. inspectors in Syria to get out of the way. A flurry of comments and activity seem to be laying the groundwork for a military strike. A Defense Department official says a strike could be completed “within several days.” Moscow’s telling the U.S. to stand down. President Bashar Al-Assad's regime says there's no evidence that it was behind last week’s chemical attack. But the U.S. says the Syrian government forces are "the only ones that have the weapons."

New Day will have extensive coverage of the situation in Syria. Frederick Pleitgen is in Damascus, Matthew Chance is in London, Arwa Damon is in Beirut, and Chris Lawrence is at the Pentagon. CNN national security analyst Fran Townsend will be our guest at 7, and chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour joins us at 8. Over at CNN.com, we’ll have a primer on how we got to where we are regarding Syria, and a piece on the risks of intervening.

2. ‘I HAVE A DREAM’ SPEECH

The dream lives on: It was a half-century ago today when our nation changed forever as a Southern pastor told America, "I have a dream." The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech came at a time when “there was so much fear, people were afraid to be afraid,” says John Lewis, the Georgia congressman who was a civil rights figure. Lewis says that 50 years later, we’re a better nation, but there's still progress to be made. America’s first black president, Barack Obama, has similar words. Obama will speak at the big event in Washington marking the anniversary. Former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter will be there, too, as will members of King’s family.

CNN political commentator Donna Brazile joins us at 7.

3. CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE

The threat keeps growing: Thousands of firefighters continue to duke it out with a huge wildfire that looks like it’ll continue to burn for days. The numbers - 184,000 acres, 4,000 firefighters, thousands of structures threatened - are staggering, and the prospects are scary as the still-growing California wildfire menaces Yosemite National Park and San Francisco's water supply. But fortunately, the tourist hotspot Yosemite Valley and its iconic attractions, including the El Capitan rock formation, are safe for now, miles from the nearly two-week-old Rim Fire's reach.

Casey Wian has been on the front lines with firefighters and will update us on what they are facing.

4. MONTANA RAPE CASE

Say what? A 49-year-old teacher has sex with a 14-year-old student. The man is charged with rape, and as the case inches its way through the legal system, the girl commits suicide. This week, the man learned his sentence: 15 years - with 14 years, 11 months suspended. That's right, one month. The girl’s mother is furious with the judge, whose choice of words about the case was interesting: “She seemed older than her chronological age.” Here’s another: "It's not probably the kind of rape most people think about. It was not a violent, forcible, beat-the-victim rape, like you see in the movies.”

5. HANNAH ANDERSON

Sister says ‘She’s trouble’: Lora DiMaggio doesn't buy it. Her brother just couldn't have lived four decades as a great guy, as her closest friend, then suddenly turn into a monster one day. Instead, she’s critical of Hannah Anderson, who disappeared earlier this month, reportedly kidnapped by James DiMaggio. In an interview with Piers Morgan, Lora DiMaggio says she told her brother well before his death that Anderson was bad news. "I said, 'You need to watch out for that one.' " DiMaggio added that her brother might have been trying to get the 16-year-old out of a jam – and “gave his life to protect her.”

Psychotherapist Robi Ludwig will be with us at 8 to analyze Lora DiMaggio’s interview.

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

- Ununpenti-what? When we were kids, there were nine planets, and the periodic table only had 117 elements. And we liked it that way. Well, now Pluto’s no longer a planet - and there’s one more thing to remember for that dreaded chemistry table. Swedish researchers made it in a lab by slamming calcium into americium. This confirms the work done by researchers in Russia who created the same thing years ago. They called the new element Ununpentium.

- Right there before twerp: "Twerk," congratulations. You are now official. The Oxford University Press people, the ones who make the big dictionaries they keep in libraries, say you are an honest-to-goodness word. Word nerds, take note, among the 40-plus entries joining "twerk" in the club are digital detox, fauxhawk, jorts, selfie and srsly. Yes, seriously.

- Posing is for after the racing: We would suggest - and mind you this is just a suggestion - that you wait until you actually cross the finish line before you start celebrating your half-Ironman win. We kind of feel bad that Jeremy Jurkiewicz of France still won this race. We really wanted Igor Amorelli to depose the poser at the finish.

- He plays from the heart: He goes to auditions, and band members can’t believe their eyes. Dean Zimmer is a rock drummer, and he uses a wheelchair. He has a birth defect called arthrogryposis. And even after nine surgeries, he doesn't have full use of his arms and can’t walk well. But man, can that guy rock the drums.

- Dude, Dubstep is not for me: This orange tabby was nice enough to leave this guy’s arms intact. But from the looks of it, this cat ain’t cool with the drumming help.

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!

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Tuesday, August 27
August 27th, 2013
05:30 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Tuesday, August 27

The U.S. says there is no doubt Syria has committed a "moral obscenity," a missing teenager is found dead in Oregon, and cops say they have broken up a huge dogfighting ring in the South.

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

Every weekday morning around 6, we’ll hit the top five stories of the day, clue you in on a few other buzzy items and let you know about some of the must-watch stories coming up on CNN’s new morning show, “New Day.”

1. SYRIA

Time for a decision nears: U.N. inspectors in Syria had a tough day. First there was an explosion near the site they were going to. Then they got shot at. Then there was the work of gathering evidence to see if there really was a chemical attack and who was behind it. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says there is no doubt the Syrian government gassed its own people. He calls it a "moral obscenity" that cannot go unanswered. Warships with cruise missiles are being readied, and the president will be given his options in the next few days, a senior administration official says.

Peter Beinart, a senior fellow with the New America Foundation, will analyze the situation for us at 7. And Frederik Pleitgen is in Damascus, the only Western correspondent reporting from Syria.

2. WILDFIRE

The battle intensifies: In the midst of what is some of America's most beautiful wilderness, huge flames continue to spread rapidly, haphazardly and dangerously through California. It is a monster fire, powered by strong winds, a lack of moisture in the air and super dry timber that acts as fuel for the inferno. Officials yesterday sent many more firefighters into the battle, which is nowhere near over. Those that have been fighting the fire – which has charred an area bigger than Chicago – are getting little rest. And the threat grew for San Francisco, even though it's well to the west, because the fire has gotten close to the area that provides water and electricity for the Bay Area.

Nick Valencia is keeping an eye on the fire and will have the latest for us from California this morning.

3. HASAN SENTENCING

Final chance to have his say: Many of the wounds remain that were suffered that day four years ago when Army Maj. Nidal Hasan killed 13 people. Widows fight depression and thoughts of suicide. The real impact of that horrific day is only now coming into full view. At Hasan’s trial, survivors and family members of the people killed are sharing their agonizing stories. Today, prosecutors will call more victims, and then we’ll see if Hasan uses his last chance to speak before his life falls into the hands of a military panel.

Ed Lavandera will recap yesterday’s testimony for us at 6 and 7 and let us know what is in store for today.

4. MISSING TEEN FOUND DEAD

A heartbreaking ending: His dad was worried but hopeful; worried because no one had seen his son in a more than a week and his Honda had been found Wednesday on a road in the Oregon countryside. But David Croom hoped his 18-year-old son, Johnathan, was just copying the main character from “Into The Wild,” a book (and movie) where a young man rejects society and disappears. Instead, the father got terrible news last night. His son is dead, found less than a quarter-mile from his CRV. Police say it looks like it was a suicide.

5. DOGFIGHTING RING BUSTS

Saving the pit bulls: Many lived in doghouses made from barrels with rotted sheets of wood for floors. They were kept from roaming by heavy chains tied to cinder blocks and car tires. They looked like they were starving. One of the mommas tended to her pups in a cage full of poop and trash. And when these dogs weren’t tied up, they were made to fight, police say. In all, nearly 370 were rescued, and authorities arrested 11 people in four states on dogfighting and gambling charges.

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

- “A final act of love”: They met in elementary school, began a romance during World War II and married not long afterward. They had a lifelong devotion to each other as husband and wife that lasted nearly 66 years, and one day earlier this month, they died, just 11 hours apart.

- Open 24 hours; well, not intentionally: The door to a store in Wayne, New Jersey, was open. So a few young men walked in and went shopping. Thing was, no one was working and the lock on the front door had malfunctioned. So what did the guys – with free rein of Buddy’s Small Lots – do? They got what they came for, figured out how much they owed, left the money on the counter and went on their way. Well done, fellas.

- And there was much rejoicing: You know at weddings in Russia, we break you. No, wait, we break DANCE!

- Do you “like” shock therapy? When you’re a student at MIT, there’s probably a better use of your time than, say, a certain social media site created by students years ago at another institute of higher learning in the area. So, what if you were to get a shock each time you overused that site, or any other? Would that stop you? Well, it’s kind of a joke between two geniuses trying to get their doctorates, but it's also helped them cut back. We give you the Pavlov Poke.

- K.I.T.T. car: We don’t know who this guy is or how much he spent over the past three years, but we applaud his work in building what every male child of the '80s wanted: K.I.T.T. from the TV show “Knight Rider.” You know, David Hasselhoff’s 300-mph, talking, indestructible Trans Am with flame throwers and ejection seats! How close is this guy’s replica? About all he’s missing is William Daniels to do the K.I.T.T. voice (and the flame throwers, we trust).

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!

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Monday, August 26
August 26th, 2013
05:36 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Monday, August 26

It may be getting close to "go" time for the U.S. when it comes to Syria. There are pressing concerns at home too, with a massive wildfire threatening one of America's most famous parks. And the Donald joins us to talk about a $40 million lawsuit filed against him by the state of New York.

It’s Monday, and here are “5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

Every weekday morning around 6, we’ll hit the top five stories of the day, clue you in on a few other buzzy items and let you know about some of the must-watch stories coming up on CNN’s new morning show, “New Day.”

1. SYRIA

Hard line out of Washington: In just a few days, the tone from the United States has changed. President Obama was measured in his midweek comments to CNN, but now pressure is building for the White House to consider action against the Syrian government. For its part, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government says there is no way it has used or will use chemical weapons, but a U.S. official tells us that multiple international sources have already collected evidence from the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack. So Obama gathered his national security team over the weekend, and they talked military and diplomatic options. U.N. inspectors will officially get to see the site today.

Fred Pleitgen in Syria and Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence will join us live this morning.

2. WILDFIRES

At all costs: It’s a little hard to believe that firefighters are making progress against a blaze that is less than 10% contained, but that what appears to be what’s happening with one that threatens Yosemite. "We're a long way from complete," a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service says, "but at least our boots on the ground are getting a better handle on it." Their main goal is to keep any more flames out of one of America’s best-known parks. More than 2,800 people are battling the blaze, but they are working in what officials say are extremely dry conditions and inaccessible terrain.

Nick Valencia is at Yosemite and will have the latest for us this morning.

3. 8-YEAR-OLD GUNMAN

So many questions: We’re still in shock over the story about the 8-year-old boy who last week shot his 87-year-old caregiver, reportedly after playing a violent video game. The case is sparking outrage - and fierce debate over what really happened and whether those violent games are to blame. One of the big questions is how did the child, who by Louisiana law cannot be charged with a crime, get hold of the gun? The makers of the game “Grand Theft Auto IV” say access to the gun is to blame.

Sara Sidner will examine the case at 6 and 7.

4. VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS

They still show videos? Miley Cyrus’ dad is famous for his “Achy, Breaky Heart.” Gosh, the poor fella is probably waking up with one today. Miss Miley performed on the MTV Video Music Awards last night, and it was the reason your social media went BOOM! Cyrus took over the stage with gigantic, dancing bears and more twerking than viewers at home probably knew what to do with. Before the party in the USA started, we thought the big deal was going to be the reunion of 'N Sync. While a lot bit shorter than we had hoped, it was awesome to see the lads come back for Justin Timberlake’s big night.

Nischelle Turner has the scoop for us at 6.

5. TRUMP SUED

You're ... due in court: America's most famous billionaire has never been one to shy away from the spotlight, and he’s had his share of bad headlines. Like the one from New York where the state is suing him for alleged fraud - fraud the attorney general wants $40 million for. At issue are investing classes. His Trump University promised to teach sure-fire real estate techniques, but according to the suit, that promise was little more than a bait and switch from a $1,500 class to a $35,000 one. Trump’s camp says it’s just a publicity stunt by the state.

Donald Trump will be our guest at 8 to explain his side of the story, and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will be with us at 6.

Bonus Biggie: At 8, Jason Carroll brings us an exclusive interview with the 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl who got a new set of lungs after her parents sued for new transplant rules for children like her.

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

Grab some tissues: This story is simply amazing. A 96-year-old man sees an ad in a newspaper about a singer-songwriter contest. He is inspired to write a tribute to his wife, Lorraine, whom he was with for 75 years. She had died only a month before Fred sat down and penned a song. Green Shoe Studio's people are so moved by his story, they go see Fred, interview him and decide to professionally record the song for free. This is the story of "Oh Sweet Lorraine."

You’re going to need a bigger can of Raid: A million cockroaches have escaped from a Chinese farm and ... wait. What? Is this the beginning of a horror film? Why on earth would someone intentionally be raising cockroaches? For medicinal purposes, of course, reports Gizmodo. In case you were wondering, the critters were being fed fruit and biscuits every day until some rascal messed with their greenhouse home and let them out. This led us to Google: How far can cockroaches travel in one day?

She’s not one to be picked on: She was told by someone on a dating site that her picture was being used for an embarrassing and mean-spirited meme that thousands of people were sharing. She couldn’t believe it. When she found it was true, she couldn’t believe there wasn’t anything Facebook would do about getting the picture. And by then, the meme had spread to other social media. So this feminist set out on a mission. Kelly Martin Broderick actually shared the meme - which was a picture of her holding a sign with the phrase “This is what a feminist looks like,” with the phrase “That’s pretty much what I expected” added by the reposter - with a personal note on Internet meanness. And she’s started her own Tumblr to show the diverseness of feminism.

She’s right, seeing is believing: Remember when Miss Utah gave her incoherent answer at the 2013 Miss USA pageant? This time, it’s Joanlia Lising, one of the Miss Philippines USA contestants, who gets stumped by a question about which one of the five senses would see want if she could only have one. She starts off fine, but ….

I kinda like your head: According to National Geographic, the kestrel (it’s a type of falcon) likes to nest in dead trees, dirt banks, even hollow cacti. Add another one to the list.

We have one more before you go. Check out the cat that gets caught trying to loot a dresser drawer.

Now, that's 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!

August 15th, 2013
05:10 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Thursday, August 15

Protesters vow to carry on in Egypt, Bradley Manning apologizes and the cause of the UPS crash is up in the air. It’s Thursday and here are the “5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

Every weekday morning around 6, we’ll hit the top five stories of the day, clue you in on a few other buzzy items, and let you know about some of the must-watch stories coming up on CNN’s new morning show, “New Day.”

1. EGYPT

Welcome to the new world, same as the old world:Egypt is under a state of emergency that bars people from gathering without permission and lets police jail them indefinitely. It’s the kind of repressive police state that Egyptians lived under for 30 years under Hosni Mubarak before he was thrown out of office. Now, after the bloodiest day since that revolution, the military-government-in-civilian-garbs has put it back in place. Its aim is to contain supporters of the democratically elected post-Mubarak President Mohamed Morsy, who feel their victory was stolen when he was ousted.  The Muslim Brotherhood says it’s going to keep protesting. Will the U.S. - the largest aid donor to Egypt – keep the money flowing?

Reza Sayah is live in Cairo and Dan Lothian has more on the U.S. response to the deadly crisis. And over on CNN.com, we have an analysis on what the U.S. ought to do next

2. HANNAH ANDERSON

Grisly scene, horrific deaths: Firefighters found Christina Anderson face down in a garage. She was dead, covered with a tarp, a crowbar next to her body. Near her, a dog shot in the head. The burned body of her son, Ethan, was discovered in what was left of the burned house. In warrants that were unsealed yesterday, police say James DiMaggio tortured and killed the mother and son, then set the house and garage on fire - and abducted 16-year-old Hannah Anderson. Another interesting detail: DiMaggio and Hannah exchanged 13 phone calls on the day she was taken before their phones went silent.

Casey Wian has the latest developments in the story this morning.

3. UPS CRASH

Cause up in the air : One witness says he thought he heard an engine backfire. Another says she believes the plane was sputtering as it flew over her home. A UPS plane crashed before dawn in Birmingham, Alabama,  yesterday, killing the two pilots. Investigators don’t have much to go on yet, as they have to wait for the scene to cool down before they go in to get the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder from the wreckage. They did say that there were no distress calls before the plane went down a half-mile from the runway.

David Mattingly will update us at 6 and 7 on what authorities know and what they hope to learn.

4. BRADLEY MANNING

‘I only wanted to help people’: Bradley Manning had his say yesterday during the sentencing phase of his court martial. And to the disappointment of his supporters, the soft-spoken Army private apologized for leaking tens of thousands of pages of classified documents. He told the judge that he should have worked within the Army’s system. He also said that when he sent the documents to WikiLeaks, he was dealing with personal issues, one of them being his gender identity crisis. WikiLeaks responded to the news by saying Manning’s statement had been “extracted by force.”

5. MICHAEL JACKSON TRIAL

The wife speaks: Choking back tears, Michael Jackson’s ex-wife told jurors that doctors tried to “outbid” one another and forced the pop icon to take what she says were dangerous and unnecessary drugs. "Michael had a very low pain tolerance, and his fear of pain was incredible. And I think that doctors took advantage of him that way," Debbie Rowe said. She said Jackson started taking pain meds after he was burned in 1984 while making a commercial for Pepsi. She’ll return to the stand today, which will be the 70th day of testimony of the trial that pits the Jackson family against the King of Pop’s concert promoter.

Ted Rowlands is covering the trial and shares his report on Rowe’s tearful testimony at 7.

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

–$36 a day? Per kid?: Maybe you can’t put a price on the joy a child brings to your life, but you can put one on how much it’ll cost you to raise your loved one - $241,080. And that’s before college! The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the price has gone up 3% in just two years, and you can blame that on the costs of health care, educations and child care.

- “A sweet and generous soul:” Her friends remember Gia Allemand as a pageant contestant turned reality TV show star with a big smile and a cheerful attitude. They were stunned to learn Allemand, 29, died yesterday, two days after an apparent suicide attempt. Her boyfriend, NBA player Ryan Anderson, said she was the most beautiful person - outside and inside – that he had ever known.

- Up in smoke: When you tweet that you want someone to bring you a joint at work and the cops reply, you have two options. You can mock the police or you can play it off as a joke. Make that three options. You can also pack up your stuff, because YOU’RE FIRED from your job. Right, Canadian man who goes (or went) by the Twitter handle @Sunith_DB8R?

- Literally a different meaning: This is going to give grammarians a headache, literalists a migraine and language nerds a nervous breakdown. The definition of literally is no longer the literal definition of literally. Several dictionaries have also added the informal, non-literal definition. Hooray for Dictionary.com who bucked the trend.

–Is that a monkey or your head? Or is it a gorilla? Seriously, dude, that is one interesting tat. Did you lose a bet? To a monkey? As the folks at Comedy Central say, good luck with that. Just don't let them see you leave. Or wear a hat.

Yes, we will do one more. Panda mom loves her new baby … to eat …. no, hug!

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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