October 22nd, 2013
11:48 AM ET

"New Day Midday": Viral Moments From The Show

Our digital show "New Day Midday" launches this week. It's all about the great moments we bring you everyday, but with a twist.

We want you to weigh in on your favorite video/photo/conversation, so tweet us @newdaycnn, Facebook, or Instagram.

Tell us your comments, good or bad, about a video or great moment that you saw on the show and we'll bring some of them back. You suggest the hashtag you think should go with the video and let us know #NewDay.

You might even hear your comment on the show.

Here are two moments from Tuesday's show:

TEEN FINDS 3.85 CARAT DIAMOND

A teen from Oklahoma went digging for buried treasure and came up with a diamond. Fourteen-year-old Tana Clymer was at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds state park when she discovered an almost four carat canary yellow diamond. The gem is teardrop-shaped and about the size of a jellybean. Tana says she may turn it into a ring or sell it to help pay for college. (SEE VIDEO ABOVE)

BOSTON TRACK FALL:

A woman walks right off a subway platform in Boston and onto the tracks. Officials say the 31-year-old woman was down there for a minute or so before bystanders managed to pull her up. The women told police she'd fallen asleep on a bench and may have been sleep walking when she fell onto the tracks. She only suffered an injury to her arm.

[cnnvideo url='http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2013/10/22/fall-off-tracks-newday.cnn' inline='true']

Filed under: Midday • News • Videos
October 22nd, 2013
11:41 AM ET

Officer Finds Mom Trying To Steal Groceries, Buys Her $100 Worth Of Food

Officer Vicki Thomas spent $100 on groceries to help a mom she originally stopped shoplifting.

The generous cop says she did it because she could identify with the woman's desperate situation.

"I did it just because I needed to," Thomas tells CNN's Chris Cuomo.

"She touched me, when I asked her why she did it and she said she needed to feed her children, I could relate. I was a single mom and without the help of my family, that could have been me. And so I needed to do my job but I also needed to help her."

Thomas spotted mom Jessica Robles trying to walk out with a cart load of supplies in Florida.

Robles said she found herself in a situation where she looked at her children, 12-year-old Anais and two younger boys, and realized she couldn't buy food.

Thomas was called in to arrest the woman but instead of taking Robles into custody, Thomas ran her criminal history and found she didn't have a dangerous past.

The officer saw Robles was not a habitual shoplifter so she charged her with a misdemeanor and a notice to appear in court.

Thomas also took an extra step to help the woman and bought her $100 worth of food saying, "I made the decision to buy her some groceries because arresting her wasn't going to solve the problem with her children being hungry. "

SEE YESTERDAY'S "GOOD STUFF" FOR MORE CONTEXT: 

Since the story has gone viral, Robles has had many people reach out to offer help.

Officer Thomas says even though she didn't seek out attention for her generosity, it is nice to be appreciated.

"It’s amazing, it’s so hard to explain because I do a lot. And 'thank you' is very seldom heard in my profession. Most of the time when we go, no one is happy to see us. So this was just, it’s overwhelming, I’m so so very proud."

If you have #GoodStuff news, let us know! Leave a comment, post on Facebook, or tweet to @ChrisCuomo & @NewDay using #NewDay and submit your story on iReport.

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Filed under: News • The Good Stuff • Videos
October 22nd, 2013
10:55 AM ET

Should Killer Whales be Held in Captivity?

This week, CNN will present the premiere of "Blackfish," a documentary that traces the history of killer whales in captivity leading up to the 2010 killing of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau by Tilikum, an orca previously associated with the death of two other people.

SeaWorld has been critical of the film, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, issuing this statement to CNN:

"Blackfish is billed as a documentary, but instead of a fair and balanced treatment of a complex subject, the film is inaccurate and misleading and, regrettably, exploits a tragedy that remains a source of deep pain for Dawn Brancheau's family, friends and colleagues. To promote its bias that killer whales should not be maintained in a zoological setting, the film paints a distorted picture that withholds from viewers key facts about SeaWorld - among them, that SeaWorld is one of the world's most respected zoological institutions, that SeaWorld rescues, rehabilitates and returns to the wild hundreds of wild animals every year, and that SeaWorld commits millions of dollars annually to conservation and scientific research. Perhaps most important, the film fails to mention SeaWorld's commitment to the safety of its team members and guests and to the care and welfare of its animals, as demonstrated by the company's continual refinement and improvement to its killer whale facilities, equipment and procedures both before and after the death of Dawn Brancheau."

“SeaWorld turned down our repeated request for interviews but in an op-ed noted its staff has been interacting with captive killer whales for years,” reports CNN’s Martin Savidge.

“The tragedy of Dawn's death cannot and has not been ignored, but neither should the literally millions of safe interactions we have had with killer whales over that span of time,” the op-ed reads.

But according to critics, there have been many documented incidents suggesting otherwise.

“Video clips of captive killer whales gone wild are easily found on the web,” Savidge says.

Meanwhile, killer whales, also called orcas, are not actually whales, but dolphins.

“Animal activists claim they are too intelligent, too socially dependent on their families and just too big for captivity.”

But these animals in captivity has taught scientists more than was known before about them and problems in the ocean.

“One of the ironies in all of this is the fact that prior to parks like SeaWorld, these creatures were considered by many people to be monsters; we knew so little about them,” Savidge says.

Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite adds:  "There's basically forty years of secrecy... so one question lead to another."

SEE FULL INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR:

Join the conversation before and during Thursday night's premiere of "Blackfish" on CNN at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Post your thoughts onCNN's live blog starting Thursday at 4 p.m. ET or tweet with the hashtag #blackfish. You can also direct your questions to the filmmaker and a SeaWorld trainer on CNN's Facebook page Thursday at 1 p.m. ET.

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Filed under: Videos
October 22nd, 2013
10:55 AM ET

SpongeBob Squarepants Gravesite Controversy

Army Sgt. Kimberly Walker survived two tours of duty in Iraq - only to be killed back home, allegedly by her boyfriend.

Now, eight months later, her family is mourning again because they can't keep two SpongeBob Squarepants memorials at her gravesite.

To say Walker loved the cartoon character may be an understatement.

"Every year, my sister had a SpongeBob birthday party," Walker's twin sister Kara said. "Everything she had was SpongeBob."

Even her curtains and bathroom were decked out with the underwater fry cook's image, her mother told CNN affiliate WLWT.

"The funeral home actually bought the pillow of SpongeBob and we asked if they could put it in her casket," Deborah Walker said.

So the family decided to spend $26,000 on two massive SpongeBob monuments at Walker's gravesite - one in an Army uniform for Walker, and another in a Navy uniform to honor Kara, an IT specialist for the Navy.

Each of the monuments stands more than 6 feet tall and weighs 7,000 pounds.

Before the family ordered the SpongeBob memorials, it got the go-ahead from a cemetery representative, Deborah Walker said.

"They came and said, 'Yeah, we can go ahead and do SpongeBob.' She gave us a statement, we signed a contract, and then they started the design," the mother told WLWT.

The stone SpongeBobs finally arrived on October 10. But less than a day later, Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati said it was going to remove the statues, CNN's Pamela Brown reports.

SEE FULL STORY

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Filed under: News • Videos
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