5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Thursday, December 19
Phil Robertson was suspended from the reality show "Duck Dynasty" after making remarks about gay people in a magazine article.
December 19th, 2013
05:01 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Thursday, December 19

A reality star is in hot water, a diplomat's strip search sparks outrage, and the Worm is headed to North Korea. Again.

It's Thursday, and here are the “5 Things to Know for Your New Day."


Duck down: Things were going so well for the "Duck Dynasty" family. The reality show, following a family's duck call business, is a mega-hit and has made the Robertson family mega-rich. But now, Phil Robertson, one of the stars of the A&E show, may have given us too much of his reality. In a just-released interview with GQ magazine, Robertson said homosexuality is a sin and seemed to put it in the same category as bestiality and promiscuity. Here’s the quote: "It seems like, to me, a vagina - as a man - would be more desirable than a man's anus. That's just me. I'm just thinking: There's more there! She's got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I'm saying? But hey, sin: It's not logical, my man. It's just not logical." Asked what, in his mind, is sinful, Robertson replied: "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."
That sound you are hearing right now is the million-dollar bus stalling over at the A&E Network. Suffice to say, the network folks were not happy with this publicity. They released a statement yesterday saying A&E supports the gay community and “has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.” Let the debate begin.


Nischelle Turner will be live with this story.


Outrage and defense: The recent arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York has caused outrage in India and headaches for some prosecutors here. And amazingly, it  stems from the diplomat's use of a housekeeper. Devyani Khobragade, the diplomat, said she would pay her housekeeper $9.75 an hour. But she wound up paying only $3.31 an hour, authorities say. So U.S. investigators arrested her on charges of lying on her application for that housekeeper. They say they treated her like other people they arrest, strip-searching her and holding her in jail until she paid a bond to get out. Yet the December 12 arrest has infuriated some in India, who say the U.S. humiliated one of its foreign service officers. This week, demonstrators were outside U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. Yesterday, a prosecutor in the case defended the arrest.

Pamela Brown and Malika Kapur will give updates on this story.


Rodman departs: Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is set to depart for his third trip to North Korea. Rodman and a documentary crew are due to fly there today from China. And he’s going to spend four days training the North Korean basketball team for a January hoops game against a yet unannounced set of former NBA players. (Hey Dennis, call your old teammate Michael Jordan. He’s not busy. Just a thought.) The whole controversial effort has been called basketball diplomacy. Rodman's trip - sponsored by the UK-based online betting company Paddy Power - is the 52-year-old's third to North Korea. Rodman said he struck up a friendship with Kim Jong Un, a basketball fan, on Rodman's first trip in February. The trip comes at a tense time in North Korea. Last week, the regime executed Kim's uncle, who had been regarded as the country's second-most powerful figure. North Korea's official news agency accused him of trying to overthrow the state. It's not clear whether Rodman, whose nickname is the Worm, will meet with Kim on the basketball training visit

Ivan Watson reports live from China.


Keep it: Despite the growing criticism, a team advised President Obama to keep most of the controversial National Security Agency tactics in place. The team analyzed the NSA’s program of collecting Americans' phone calls and e-mails, an effort that has been criticized by some. The team said that while the tactics should continue, they should have tighter constraints. The group gave the President about 40 recommendations on how to do this, even though the recommendations were considered modest. The report, compiled by the Presidential Review Group on Intelligence, was released yesterday. The panel was created amid a political firestorm that followed leaks last summer by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Jim Acosta and Jim Sciutto will report on this story.


Happy ending: There’s a double happy ending to this story. By now, you must have heard the story of Cecil Williams and his guide dog Orlando. It was national news this week when Cecil, a blind man, fainted and fell onto a New York subway track as a train approached. The guide dog fell down on the tracks and tried to help. And luckily, a transit employee was at the train station. The employee told Williams to lie flat in a shallow trough between the rails as the train roared into to the station. The train stopped, but not until it rolled one and a half cars over the man and his dog. Emergency workers were able to get Williams and the dog out and were amazed that they were not seriously injured. But while Williams was in the hospital this week, he told news reporters he was probably going to have to give Orlando away because of insurance issues. Well, that problem is solved now too because of generous donors, Williams said. At a news conference, Williams was overcome with emotion. “I'm not a crybaby or nothing, but my eyes are misty and I'm teary right now, because you know, things like this don't happen for everybody," he said.

Michaela Pereira will update us on this story.

Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a few others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.

- Christmas face: We know what you've been thinking. You are tired of "Silent Night," "Rudolph," "Deck the Halls" and all that. You need a new Christmas anthem! Here's a new jam called “Christmas Face.” You’re welcome


- Let it ice, Let it ice ... This is quite a winter storm.


- Coach rant: This coach is hilarious, unless you play for his team.


- Flying man: This crazy wingsuit pilot is a little close to the ground. Don’t you think?


- Best friend: This dog is good for anybody who wants to stop drinking.


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!

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Name*paul

    i think nsa program is not working well with investigators abusing the program.they wonder why they get expose and names get past around like they say were i come from if they want they better give something in return.is any going to write back,I can't hear you.

    December 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  2. Larry Coleman

    Kudos for Phil Robertson for being honest with his opinion. I totally agree with him. I hope he isn't fired.

    December 19, 2013 at 9:45 am | Reply
  3. Rick

    As far as what Phil Robertson told G Q , he was right ! Quoting from the ultimate sourse, Gods word the Bible , check out Leviticus , 18:22-23 A & E should apologize to him ! ! !

    December 19, 2013 at 9:44 am | Reply
  4. Phil Snow

    Phil your are 100% correct!
    If folks don't agree with you OR are offended by your comments then they don't have to watch your show.
    Look at this country and what be tolerent has brought us- don't be fooled God made a man and a woman for
    specific reasons AND he intended for us to have self-control. These folks know wrong from right & are just trying to justify there lack of morale judgment.

    December 19, 2013 at 8:50 am | Reply
  5. Dave

    Every single reality show person needs to take lessons from Michael Jordan on how to handle the media and do interviews.

    December 19, 2013 at 8:44 am | Reply
  6. K Harrington

    So here's my take on this. This guy has the right to think what he wants, we all do. However, understanding the influence he has and the position he has as a Hollywood actor...to me it was insensitive and innapropriate what he said.

    December 19, 2013 at 8:36 am | Reply
  7. rick

    Isn't reality TV supposed to be based on, well, reality? In reality there are idiots with first amendment rights. Watching people who show off their ignorance is half the appeal of reality TV anyway. So long as the staion and sponsors are clear that they don't support the person's view, who cares?

    December 19, 2013 at 8:36 am | Reply
  8. Rich

    What a stupid headline, do you think this guy cares what a bunch of sissies think? You homosexuals are just making it worse for yourselves.

    December 19, 2013 at 8:35 am | Reply
  9. Carlos Suazo

    Duck Dynasty: What's the big deal about his comment. I mean fa**ots a just a bunch of low life! low moral losers.

    December 19, 2013 at 8:24 am | Reply
  10. Hollywood

    Congratulations to the man and his best friend.

    December 19, 2013 at 8:17 am | Reply
  11. chris

    I get tired of hearing the anti-gay folks say, "Tolerance goes both ways." No, either attacking the gay community, or African Americans, or Jewish people whatever is wrong, or it isn't. Society in 2013 no longer finds open homophobia socially or morally acceptable. I know some will say, "But he has a right to speak his opinion." Sure he does, but with the right comes responsibility.

    December 19, 2013 at 8:02 am | Reply
  12. Ty

    So free speech is not free. That is sad since people say silly things about Christians everyday and never get suspended.

    December 19, 2013 at 8:01 am | Reply
  13. Julian

    *******The United States of America******* has in its Constitution an amendment that guarantees free speech to its people, we are also the largest Christian Nation on the Earth, yet we are not allowed to say things like "Merry Christmas" or speak how we feel without massive backlash. Something is definitely wrong now with the people of this country.

    December 19, 2013 at 7:42 am | Reply
  14. Betty

    You no wht I'm sick of as a Christian, is tht networks tht produce these shows / news anchors who report the news are so loving towards the lgbt/ homosexuals an standing up to defend thr lifestyles, bt wil attack an look dwn on Christians who stand by thr beliefs and wht the Bible says. Its sad how we protect and stand up for their lifestyles, ( tht is wrong) just as Phil said, bt won't stand up for Jesus and all He went to the cross for. Jus because someone speaks against these people an ( yes their sinful-lifestyles) does not for one minute say we hate them. Bt we do pray for tht sinful spirit on their lives. Its so stupid tht you wil ruin someone life, by dropping thm from shows, killing store deals they have, because of hw they believe. Truth be told when you do tht to those who stand for their Christian beliefs, then you producers of these shows/ news people are to afraid to speak the truth for fear of losing your job....But guess what, Phil is right, an He wil prevail because He has God Almighty on his side. He does not need the approval of producers are anyone else to say what is truth and what will stand til Eternity an that people is ( The Bible-God Word)...

    December 19, 2013 at 7:39 am | Reply
  15. Ruby Russell

    I'm happy for Cecil and Orlando. I pray that I can get help with my own situation. Homeless and I have a job. Heath issues and no insurance, existing for the moment in Odessa, Texas.

    December 19, 2013 at 7:35 am | Reply
  16. ed

    good for phil Robertson agre 100percent

    December 19, 2013 at 7:31 am | Reply
  17. Typifire

    So, India, a country where 12 men can gang rape one woman on a public bus in broad daylight, is claiming a routine strip search is barbaric?

    December 19, 2013 at 7:23 am | Reply
  18. Something a Redneck Grandpa Would Say

    Look folks get over yourselves..... This is nothing more than what the crazy grandpa would say on sides of families. Did you expect a doctorial discussion between scientist? It's Duck realty show with some pumped up staged rednecks.
    Please go look for some other smoking guns to report out there.....

    December 19, 2013 at 6:43 am | Reply
  19. F1Man

    "Hey Dennis, call you’re old teammate Michael Jordan he’s not busy. Just a thought..."

    It's bad enough that many people/non-journalists don't seem to know the difference between "your" and "you're." At a minimum, you'd thing journalists would have a grasp of basic grammar. Kind of like a doctor not being able to take a temperature. Pretty fundamental if you ask me.

    December 19, 2013 at 6:42 am | Reply
  20. joliso

    I stopped reading.....way too many mistakes. Come on CNN!!!!!!

    December 19, 2013 at 6:28 am | Reply

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