Welcome to the Wednesday 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. CALIFORNIA AMBER ALERT SEARCH
A father’s impassioned plea: Brett Anderson wants his kids back. Police think one or both of them were taken by a friend of their mother, who was killed in a fire. The cops are looking across the U.S. for the owner of the house, James DiMaggio, who they think might have kidnapped 16-year-old Hannah and 8-year-old Ethan. Brett Anderson pleaded with the suspected abductor: “The damage is done. I'm begging you to let my daughter go. You've taken everything else.” Curiously, he didn’t mention his son, but he told reporters it’s not because the other body found in the burned-out home was a child. “We're praying that it wasn't Ethan," he said.
Lt. Glenn Giannantonio of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will be our guest at 8. Correspondent Miguel Marquez has been following the story and will have more from San Diego.
First charges filed: The documents are sealed, but CNN has learned that charges have been filed against several people for the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others in Libya last year. Sources say one of the suspects is a prominent member of a Libyan militia named Ahmed Khattalah. A congressman on the House Intelligence Committee says the investigation, which has taken 11 months, has been “extremely difficult.” The charges are the first to be filed after the September 11, 2012, attack.
Arwa Damon will update us this morning with the latest developments.
3. FORT HOOD SHOOTING
I did it: It was a surreal scene in the courtroom yesterday. Maj. Nidal Hasan didn’t appear to be interested in defending himself at all. He told the judge he was the shooter, the man who killed 13 people and wounded 32 others four years ago. Instead, he seems bent on trying to justify what he did that terrible day at a processing center for soldiers heading to Afghanistan and Iraq. In his opening statement, Hasan, acting as his own lawyer, said he was part of a mujahedeen trying to establish the perfect religion. But, he added, "I apologize for the mistakes I made in this endeavor."
John Galligan, a former attorney for Hasan, joins us at 7. And Ed Lavandera will wrap up the first day of the court-martial and preview the rest of the trial for us.
4. TERROR THREAT
Late night: The president made his fourth appearance as commander in chief on “The Tonight Show,” and there were some laughs, but it wasn't all in fun. Obama insisted that the U.S. isn’t overreacting to what appears to be an threat from al Qaeda by temporarily closing a handful of embassies. The president said Americans should still feel comfortable traveling to other countries, but they should be smart about how and where they travel. He did later joke about his developing “bromance” with former GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.
— Jay Leno (@jayleno) August 7, 2013
Sen. Chuck Schumer joins us at 7 to talk about the terror threats. White House correspondent Brianna Keilar will fill us in on the significance of the president’s remarks at the top of each hour.
5. CHINA BABIES SCANDAL
Accusations of infant trafficking: According to state media reports, police in China say a doctor has been arrested for selling a newborn. The cops say he told a new mother that her baby had defects - then sold the infant for $3,527. Other women say the same thing happened to them at the same hospital. China’s top health officials are vowing to crack down on people accused of these kinds of babynappings.
— Xinhua News Agency (@XHNews) August 4, 2013
And one more thing: Make sure you watch at 6 and 7 to see Kyung Lah’s exclusive report on a voice mail received by one of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s accusers and the other unwelcome advances she says she and other military veterans had to deal with.
Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a couple of others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.
- No violence this week, campers! There is a camp outside of Tampa that was supposed to give kids the opportunity to fight each other in a dystopian competition of survival. Well, OK, there wasn’t going to be any ACTUAL deaths (despite posters that read “LOSING MEANS CERTAIN DEATH”). According to the Tampa Bay Times, “keeping the kids from talk of murder would prove difficult. That was, after all, the driving plot point of The Hunger Games — and this was Hunger Games camp.” So camp counselors changed the rules, and campers didn’t kill their opponents, they merely collected their lives. Ah, so much better.
A camp opened in Florida where kids compete in the Hunger Games, which is funny, because I thought that's what all of Florida was.
— John McNamee (@Piecomic) August 6, 2013
- Mormons can jump: Billy Hoyle would be proud. The fictional white hustler who put a lot of effort into not looking like a streetballer would embrace Cole Payne, the real-life basketball-playing Mormon missionary. Cole conveniently forgets to tell his hoops opponents that underneath the white shirt and tie, he has mad skills and hops (as the kids say). Heads up: When watching the video, there is some foul language from spectators and opponents - as there often is when a guy in dress clothes dunks in a pickup game.
- He ain’t scared: Here’s a slightly less controversial story for Shark Week after the Megalodon debacle. A woman shot a video of a cat dressed as a shark sitting on a Roomba to commemorate Shark Week. Why? Because it’s the Internet, there’s a cat ON a vacuum, and it’s Shark Week, that’s why.
- #funeral: Is this a thing? It has its own tumblr, so it must be a thing. People are taking selfies and other questionable images before and during funerals.
You don't take selfies or goofy pictures when you're at a funeral. you're wearing black for a reason. have some respect. #smh
— Marion Guinday (@marionntherese) August 3, 2013
- 30,000 pounds of eeeeeew! Apparently the folks in Kingston, Surrey, cannot be trifled with the proper disposal of baby wipes and kitchen grease. Residents of the upscale London neighborhood recently had problems flushing their loos, and it turns out there was a 15-ton “fatberg” clogging up their sewers. C’mon, folks, remember the awesome PR campaign and “Bin it – don’t block it.’”
Bonus time! Yoeslan Alfaro shot a quick Vine video while dropping off his older (and considerably more enthusiastic) neighbor. She likes to backseat dance … and these six seconds will brighten your morning.
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!