More Obamacare finger pointing, Merkel is miffed and a little chocolate rain. (You'll understand that last one later.)
It's Friday, 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 morning show, “New Day.”
1. Obamacare battle
Blame game: Sparks flew. Fingers were pointed. Threats were uttered. And that’s just from the poor folks trying to log in to the Obamacare website. Just kidding. All this happened yesterday when Obamacare contractors were summoned to Congress to explain the mess. They were grilled on why users have complained about log in problems, lengthy delays and why incorrect information may ‘ve been relayed to insurance companies. The contractors blamed the White House for a last second change of plan. That 11th hour change doomed the healthcare website, contractors said. Despite the chorus of criticism, the White House is standing firm. The big fix is on the way, the White House says.
Joe Johns will give us the latest throughout the show. John King and Candy Crowley will join us later in the show. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio also joins us at 7.
2. Pirates strike again
Captain Phillips redux: The movie "Captain Phillips" may give a clue to how dangerous this situation is. And it’s what we don’t know about this ongoing pirate attack that’s so unsettling. The little we know is armed pirates stormed a huge oil rig near Nigeria this week. They seized two men. The hostages may be Americans, officials say. That was two days ago. We have no information on how the hostages are doing. And we don’t know the condition of the U.S.-flagged vessel that the pirates stormed. But if history is any guide, there may be some good news. There are U.S. forces on a Dutch vessel floating off West Africa, we are told. Spoiler alert: U.S. soldiers saved Captain Rich Phillips from that now famous pirate attack in 2009.
Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr will give us the latest at 6 and 8. CNN National Security Analyst Fran Townsend will also join us at 7.
3. Math teachers’ deaths
More details, no answers: Two math teachers were killed this week. One was in Massachusetts, the other in Nevada. Both by students, police say. We learned a little more about the Massachusetts case, 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer. Her attacker may have been in her class and had been asked by the teacher to stay after school. The attacker slashed her with a box cutter in a school bathroom, police say. It will be up to a grand jury to decide if the 14-year-old suspect will be tried as an adult
In Nevada, we heard from a boy shot in the stomach during this week’s violence. From his hospital bed, Mason told us things no 12-year-old should say. He said how he saw his math teacher on the ground, dying. Then turned to see his friend holding a pistol, Mason says. He begged his friend not to shoot him. And that is when he got it. Right in the stomach. And then the shooter, his friend, a 12-year-old boy turned the gun on himself. Though we’ve learned more details, one unanswered question remains in both cases. Why?
Pamela Brown will give us the latest from Massachusetts. CNN legal analyst Paul Callan will also join us at 6.
4. NSA fallout
Mending fences: That’s what the U.S. says is has to do after the latest controversy from leaker Edward Snowden. As you know, Snowden, a former U.S. government contractor now in exile, has caused angst for releasing a bevy of sensitive U.S. National Security Agency documents. The latest release of damaging documents alleges that the NSA spied on the phones of 35 world leaders. On that alleged list of overhead conversations is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. And Merkel is miffed. “We need trust," she said yesterday. "Spying among friends is never acceptable." Though this alleged spying happened before he took office, Obama says he has ordered a review of NSA practices. Also his homeland security adviser penned a USA Today opinion piece today that says recent “disclosures have created significant challenges in our relationships.”
Join us for News Headlines with anchor John Berman.
5. MacNeill murder trial
Tearful testimony: Just imagine having to testify against your own father. That’s what Rachel MacNeill did yesterday, sometimes trembling and crying. Her father, Utah doctor, Martin MacNeill, 57, is accused of giving her mother a powerful cocktail of drugs to kill her in order to be with his mistress. His lawyers say he did not do it. The tearful daughter said she used to call her father her best friend. But her father acted so strangely after her mother died, she says. For one, he was jovial and joked about being single at a funeral dinner for her mother, she says. Also he moved a woman into the home just two weeks after her mother’s funeral, she says. That woman, prosecutors say, was Martin MacNeill’s mistress.
Miguel Marquez will join us at 6. CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos will joins us at 8 along with HLN host Vinnie Politan.
Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a few others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.
- Chocolate Rain : All the sad stories in this blog can make you want to run and get some chocolate rain. Yeah, we know this is not new and probably is in the hall of fame of viral videos. But we need some chocolate rain right now. Before you click, listen for these unforgettable lines in the song. “Chocolate rain! The school books say it can’t be here again.” And “chocolate rain! The prisons make you wonder where it went.” You're welcome.
- Star Wars kid: Adding to the oldie but goodie viral video category, remember the Star Wars kid? I know this guy is not happy this video went viral.
- Crazy pizza stealing kitten: Have you ever really wanted some pizza? Then you'll relate to this kitten.
- Coffee shop terror: Have you ever been to a coffee shop and then an angry woman uses her mind to throw someone against a wall? Confused? Watch this.
- Healthy Halloween candy: Asparagus flavored candy?! The reactions of these kids are priceless.
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!