James, who has just led the Miami Heat to its second consecutive championship and won another MVP award, is already being hailed as one of the greatest players to ever hit the floor. And no one would be surprised if he pulled off a three-peat next season.
Watch as the superstar himself weighs in on the praise with CNN’s Rachel Nichols.
Daredevil tight-rope walker Nik Wallenda cheated death once again on Sunday night.
The thrill seeker completed the death-defying stunt of walking on a wire across the Grand Canyon—without a safety harness.
Miguel Marquez witnessed the nail-biting action live in Arizona and has details on the “22 minutes and 54 seconds of death-defying and vertigo-inducing thrill.”
“Twice, he stopped, kneeling to regain his composure and steady the wire, quivering under his feet,” Marquez reports. “For the finale, Nik Wallenda ran to the finish.”
Need to get today's top stories on-the-go? Watch Michaela Pereira's morning minute now!
Welcome to the Monday edition of “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 “New Day."
1. SNOWDEN SAGA
Banned, on the run: The man wanted by the feds on espionage charges hopped a plane Sunday - but he didn’t head back to the U.S. Instead, Edward Snowden bolted for Moscow with the help of the WikiLeaks folks, and it seems he’s hoping to end up in Ecuador. Yeah, the same place WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange wants asylum.
WikiLeaks aren’t the only people who think Snowden is a hero; more than 109,000 people have signed a petition asking Obama to pardon him. We’ll see how the White House responds, but we’re guessing the answer begins with a No, and ends with a No.
Did the U.S. botch Snowden’s extradition? CNN national security analyst Fran Townsend joins us at 6 this morning, and former CIA Director James Woolsey offers his take at 7.
2. ZIMMERMAN TRIAL
Court’s in session: If you tuned out for a while on the Trayvon Martin case, it’s time to pay attention. George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial begins today. Lawyers for the prosecution and Zimmerman will set up the case beginning this morning for the six-woman jury. And a new CNN poll found 62% saying the charges against Zimmerman are probably or definitely true.
CNN's George Howell is live outside the courthouse in Florida with more on what's expected today. And watch for HLN’s Nancy Grace during the 7 o’clock hour when she’ll give us her unique insight into the case. Over at CNN.com, we have a handy primer that gets you up to speed on the case.
3. MANDELA HEALTH
Condition critical: Nelson Mandela’s been in the hospital for days. And over the weekend, we learned that his condition is now critical. This morning, the news wasn't any better. His daughter sat down for an exclusive interview with CNN’s Robyn Curnow and said she hopes the “transition is smooth.”
Online, the account @msmkokeli is tweeting quotes with the hashtag #MandelaOnceSaid that others have begun picking up on.
CNN’s Robyn Curnow is live from Pretoria, South Africa, with the latest on the 94-year-old legend’s condition.
4. SUPREME COURT
It's judgment day ... or not: Hey, Supreme Court, any day now. Every Monday and Thursday, we wait for the court to offer rulings on 11 cases. We know for sure the court will be in public session today; we just don’t know if today’s the day for a ruling. Could be affirmative action, could be the voting rights act, could be same-sex marriage. Or it could be none of the above.
5. FLORIDA GIRL DEATH
Innocence lost: She just wanted a hamburger. Police say Cherish Lilly Perrywinkle was headed to a McDonald’s with a new friend when she disappeared. The man cops have charged with kidnapping and killing the 8-year-old is a registered sex offender who was released from custody less than a month ago. This is what a Jacksonville sheriff's spokesman said:
"The first thing I would tell you is, as a parent, hug your children closely right now and know where they're at. Just pay attention to them, keep them close."
CNN’s Alicha Machado has more on this awful story.
Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a couple of others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.
- Paula Dean, bless her heart!: The celeb chef keeps stirring that pot, doesn't she? First, we find out she used the N-word. Then she loses her Food Network gig. Now, we learn QVC is rethinking having her on. But wait, there’s more! Over the weekend, The New York Times posted a video where she brings out her personal security manager and introduces him as being “black as that board.” SMH.
- LeBron’s a big boy now: He came to South Beach to play with superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and win like a zillion championships. But one thing he didn’t really figure in was how much he’d need to grow up off the court in Miami. Good thing he did, because as he tells CNN’s Rachel Nichols in his first interview since leading the Heat to back-to-back titles, it’s made him a better baller, too. He also talks about how winning a title made things easier at home with the fiancée and how Kiefer Sutherland helped him detox from Twitter during the playoffs. We’ll have the interview for you this morning.
- Walking a fine line: Perhaps the only wider chasm Nik Wallenda could have tried to cross Sunday is the one between Democrats and Republicans. The tight-rope daredevil walked across a gorge near the Grand Canyon. It was 20-plus minutes of sheer nerves more than a quarter-mile above a river. The Internet was impressed.
By the way, Wallenda's not the only one nimble on his feet. Check this out:
- Don’t you feel silly, Twinkies hoarders?: Tired of making Twinkies at home? (Yes, they have oven sets for that. Some of us have one.) Well, rejoice, rejoice! The 37-ingredient dessert (or light breakfast) treat will be back next month. Yep, the full line: Ho Hos, Ding Dongs and Zingers (so underrated). There’s even a countdown clock. See you soon, Twinkie the Kid.
- Cup clash: The Blackhawks want to take Lord Stanley’s Cup back to their sweet home Chicago tonight. Or tomorrow morning. The 'Hawks lead the NHL finals 3 games to 2 over the Bruins, but Game 6 is in Boston, where the hometown team has been on a recent roll. If the Blackhawks win, it’ll be the second time their names are engraved on the cup in the past four seasons.
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 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET, join us at CNN.com/NewDay and go and have a GREAT NEW DAY