5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Monday, December 23
December 23rd, 2013
05:08 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Monday, December 23

Extreme weather plagues the nation, the Obamacare countdown clock ticks toward zero and a lesson in how to destroy your career in 140 characters of less.

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


Winter of our discontent: Mother Nature is a bit manic these days. Check out this late December snapshot of the national weather picture: Record-breaking high temperatures yesterday in New York City, tornadoes and deadly flooding across the Southeast, and lots of ice and snow in Nebraska and Kansas. Anything else? Yes, another storm is ready to dump more snow from the Pacific Northwest into the Midwest. Slip north of the border and some 250,000 customers don't have power in Toronto. Mayor Rob Ford says they hope to have it restored in time for Christmas. One more thing - it's very, very cold in Canada. Good day, eh?

Indra Petersons looks at the extreme weather across the country throughout the morning.


Tick, tick, tick: Just a few hours are left to sign up for coverage through the government's HealthCare.gov website. Pick a plan today to have health insurance next year. The deadline should prove to be a real test for the revamped operation. In the early days of the website, a few dozen inquiries shut the site down. This should be a high-traffic day.

Athena Jones is live throughout the morning as the Obamacare deadline approaches.


Tweet heard around the world: Who says there's no bad PR? Former IAC public relations executive Justine Sacco apologized yesterday for her "needless and careless" tweet about AIDS in Africa.

Justine Sacco
The native of South Africa says she's "very sorry" for the pain she caused. The gaffe cost Sacco her job. Media company IAC "parted ways" with her over the weekend. A faux account skewering Sacco has already popped up.


Brian Stelter reports on the Twitter backlash at 7.


Evacuating Americans: South Sudan is a downright dangerous place to be these days. Violence is spreading across the North African nation. Things were so bad at a U.N. camp in Bor that President Obama decided it was best to airlift Americans out. He sent in a team of 46 service members to do the job. Some 15 people were evacuated. Four of the troops were wounded. South Sudanese President Salva Kiir blames soldiers loyal to his former vice president for starting the violence. Multiple armed groups are active across the country. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced.

Al Qaeda mea culpa: Being a terrorist group means never having to say you're sorry, right? The head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula apologized yesterday for a hospital attack in Yemen earlier this month that left dozens of people dead. Qassim Al-Raimi said the group's fighters were told not to attack the mosque or the hospital in a December 5 assault on the Yemeni Ministry of Defense compound, but someone made a mistake.

Here's how the original attack unfolded:

Barbara Starr is live from the Pentagon on the imploding security situation in South Sudan.


Cocaine allegations: Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson is back in the spotlight just days after a British court cleared two former personal assistants of fraud. Yesterday, police said they would examine evidence suggesting the flirty cooking diva took cocaine. Lawson admitted during the trial to occasionally using drugs including the white powder. Scotland Yard says it's looking into evidence, but admits no charges are coming anytime soon.

Isa Soares tells us what's cooking at 6.

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


- Quack me up: Two days was long enough. Cracker Barrel has already reversed Friday's decision to pull some "Duck Dynasty"-themed products from its shelves. An onslaught of customer feedback tipped the scales. "You told us we made a mistake," Cracker Barrel said. "And, you weren't shy about it." Double-D patriarch Phil Robertson's comments about homosexuality landed him in hot water with A&E, where the show airs, and gave Cracker Barrel pause - but not for too long.

- Hallelujah Christmas: Leonard Cohen's classic, but moody, "Hallelujah" gets the Christmas treatment from Cloverton.


- Rockers reunited: Fate often takes folks in different directions. Carlos Santana is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and former bandmate Marcus Malone is homeless and living on the streets in Northern California. In the late 1960s, both played in the Carlos Santana Blues Band. Fate recently brought them back together again.

- Paul's Home Alone: Who's Paul, you ask? He's Paul Little - the ambitious guy who decided to recreate this holiday classic. Yawn, you say? Paul plays all the parts.

- iDominoes: Let's say you're out of dominoes, but have a couple thousand extra iPhones. You could line them up and then knock them down, right? Or if you're Aatma Studio, you could just get your animators to do it.

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 (8 Responses)
  1. Rick

    A & E hasn`t apologised yet ? Why not, there wrong ! Listen, what Mr. Robertson said might have been a bit rough , but come on, we all know sodomy is a sin ! By GODS law and mans , Too !

    December 23, 2013 at 9:38 am | Reply
  2. Robert Constant

    CNN has released a "new poll" that is actually compiled by Tea Party Contributors. They will not publish the following post "without moderation". I am trying it here.
    There is a serious problem with this story. The polling firm is controlled by Lake Capital, which ic controlled by Terence Graunke, a major Tea Party contributor who opposed Mitt Romney because of Romney's stand on Health care, This google copy/paste explains it:

    But Mr. Romney suffered a big loss with the defection of one of his key fundraisers from 2008: Lake Capital principal Terry Graunke, who is “on the sidelines for now, still assessing the field,” as he puts it in an email. Mr. Graunke declines to say more. But it's clear that he's not the only one having doubts about Mr. Romney's staying power, given concerns about his health care stance and other matters.
    The bottom line is that one has to question the integrity of this poll as well as the integrity and agenda of CNN. For some time CNN has been FOX LIGHT. It would appear they have crossed into FOX SUB ROSA

    December 23, 2013 at 9:29 am | Reply
  3. ipmutt

    Do you get the feeling you are not being told the truth or maybe just not being told everything. Well that is because you get your information from mainstream media. The truth is Obama care is a complete mess and nearly everyone hates it. And now that you see how you get the Bengazi story and the Syria Story and the Libya story and the IRS story and the fast and furious story from mainstream media do you thing you should rethink how you deal with what Hillary and Obama tell you. If you haven't sorted that out, stay on the bus, that is really not a cliff you are headed for

    December 23, 2013 at 8:43 am | Reply
  4. Nate Baumgart

    Shoot-Cracker Barrel should remove the salt from the food before they remove the duck stuff.

    December 23, 2013 at 8:20 am | Reply
  5. Denise Duppen

    I love you "5 things to know..."
    Happy Holidays!!!!!!!

    December 23, 2013 at 7:09 am | Reply
  6. Dave

    Kudo's Carlos Santana – awesome story and BIG shout out to th ereport who discovered Marcus and did his research to help a fella out. Great story.

    December 23, 2013 at 6:41 am | Reply
  7. Dave

    Duck Dynasty and Justine Sacco are proof of the right wing's institutional hypocrisy. Although I am still waiting on petitions to get Sacco her job back. If she had only claimed her comments about AIDS were religious...

    December 23, 2013 at 6:09 am | Reply
  8. Esther Ndanu

    Thank you for enlighting us.God bless you!

    December 23, 2013 at 5:45 am | Reply

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