Welcome to the Friday 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 CNN’s new morning show, “New Day.”
1. ARIEL CASTRO
Rambling, defiant speech: Ariel Castro claims he’s a normal person, not a monster. He says the home where he held three women captive was filled with “harmony” and the sex he had with his hostages was consensual. It was a bizarre explanation he gave at his sentencing hearing before a judge sent him to prison, where he will live until he dies. But Castro was right when he said he is sick, even if he did understate just how much. We also saw the strength of one of his victims. Michelle Knight read a statement, saying "I spent 11 years in hell. Now, your hell is just beginning."
Psychiatrist Gail Saltz joins us at 7 to talk about Castro’s mental state.
CNN Exclusive: Dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground during the attack on U.S. facilities last year that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. CNN has learned that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever they were doing remains a secret. For the past seven months, several operatives involved in the agency's missions in Libya have had to take more polygraph examinations than usual, according to a source with inside knowledge of the agency's workings. The goal of the questioning - according to sources – was to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.
Drew Griffin will be with us at 8 with more on the story.
3. U.S. CLOSING EMBASSIES
Nonspecific threat: The State Department took the unusual step of ordering all embassies and consulates that were to be open this Sunday to close due to worries about a terrorist attack. There has been a lot of more “chatter” than normal, a State Department official says. But there were no specific threats with a date or place. Officials felt like the closures were the best to do with Ramadan coming to an end and the anniversary of the Benghazi attack five weeks away.
The Department of State has instructed certain U.S. Embassies and Consulates to remain closed or to suspend operations on Sunday, August 4. The Department has been apprised of information that, out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installations, indicates we should institute these precautionary steps. It is possible we may have additional days of closings as well, depending on our analysis. - Message on U.S. Embassy in Israel website
Rep. Jason Chaffetz will join us at 7 and Rep. Ed Royce will be our guest at 8.
4. EDWARD SNOWDEN
Finally out of the airport: Edward Snowden has a new home and a new job offer. He’s now staying with Americans in Moscow after Russia granted him asylum for one year yesterday. And things are looking up for him; a Russian website has offered him a job as a developer. Things are not looking up for relations between Russia and the United States. The White House says it is extremely disappointed in the move but President Obama still plans to meet with Vladimir Putin next week in Washington. Wonder what the first topic of discussion will be.
Phil Black in Moscow will have more about Snowden’s whereabouts.
5. STOCK MARKET
S&P looking A-OK: Good jobs numbers usually mean a good stock market. The S&P 500 crossed a milestone (1,700) barrier and the Dow rose to a record high also yesterday. The rises were tied to the falling number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment. We’ll see if this morning’s July jobs report has more good news as expected.
What to do now in #stocks with key guages up 19%? REBALANCE. Make sure you have right mix of stocks, bonds, cash.
— Christine Romans (@ChristineRomans) August 1, 2013
Christine will preview the July jobs report and have more financial news all morning.
Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a couple of others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.
–Big numbers for Tsarnaev cover: Shops pulled Rolling Stone from their shelves. Readers threatened to cancel subscriptions. The result? Doubled sales for the magazine bearing the tousle-haired Boston bombing suspect.
Rolling Stone got exactly what they wanted with its controversial cover. The public sure didn't reject it. http://t.co/BtvHXyWW99
— Steven (@beaconspring) August 2, 2013
- Never leave a kid behind: Lance Cpl. Myles Kerr is a nice guy who finished last. But he had a good reason. While he was at home running in a 5K race, Kerr came upon a 9-year-old boy who asked the Marine to run with him because he had lost his friends. Dressed in fatigues and boots, the young Marine obliged, falling back and guiding his new friend to the finish. And in doing so he finished last in his age group but made hundreds of thousands of people online get misty-eyed when they saw a picture of the pair jogging to the finish.
I'm not a hero, I am me. - Myles Kerr on his Facebook page
- OK, OK, take a picture of your dinner: Folks who take photos of everything they eat now have evidence that it's more than just showing off. Harvard and the University of Minnesota researchers say that taking part in a ritual (not only taking pics, any ritual) to use the scientific lingo “potentiates and enhances ensuing consumption.” In other words, your coffee will taste better if every time you put the sugar and cream in the same way. No word on whether this can make Brussels sprouts taste good.
— tedi mason (@tbprill) July 29, 2013
- That’s one friendly buck: We’re not really sure what this deer is doing, but he seems to really like this kid. Either that or he has some major itch going on. Maybe he had something in his eyes. Whatever the case, we’re just wondering how he snuck up on this guy from behind.
- Seriously, a channel for your pooch: Time to ask Buddy to pitch in for the satellite bill. August brought a new channel for dogs - well, stay-at-home dogs, the ad says. DOGTV will cost you five bucks a month on DirecTV and it promises to entertain your pup while you’re off at work. Because that’s what you want, one more occupant of your house lying around all the time in front of the television.
And since we’re on the topic of animals, here’s one more video about a man who dances with raccoons. We kid you not. Watch for yourself.
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 CNN.com/NewDay and go and have a GREAT NEW DAY