5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Tuesday, December 31
Get ready for 2014. CNN iReporter Jeffrey Liu took this photo capturing the festive atmosphere of a past New Year's Eve.
December 31st, 2013
05:38 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Tuesday, December 31

2014 has already begun on the other side of the world, Jahi McMath is still on life support, and people want to know if it's safe to travel to the Olympics in Russia.

Welcome to the Tuesday edition of “5 Things to Know for Your New Day" for New Year's Eve.

1. HELLO, 2014
Yes, it's New Year's Eve again: Time to bust out the Champagne and make resolutions you probably won't keep. But this year's different. Cities around the world will host some of the most amazing celebrations ever. Edible confetti raining over London? Check. How about 400,000 pyrotechnics exploding over Dubai? Got that, too. And let's not forget that the new year also means bizarre new laws. In Oregon, mothers will be allowed to take their placentas home from the hospital. And thousands of companies will have to provide calorie counts for products sold in vending machines.


The crew of a ship stuck in the ice near the South Pole may ring in the new year in some of the coldest weather on Earth. Rescue ships have not made it through to them, and it may take a while before helicopters fly in to pick up all 74 people. Everyone seems fine so far. And it’s almost worth not being rescued just yet to be able to tell the story of where they rang in 2014 to their grandchildren.

Jennifer Gray tells us who’s shivering into 2014 with a weather rundown at 6, 7 and 8. We’ll see how those stranded passengers on the ship stuck in Antarctic ice will celebrate, when Matthew Chance joins us at 6 and 8, and the crew’s leader speaks with us live at 7. At 8, Margaret Conley offers up a palette of New Year’s traditions, and Rosa Flores tackles new laws that go into effect after the clock strikes midnight.

Reprieve: Yesterday was a close call for Jahi McMath’s family. It looked like the brain dead girl’s hospital might take her off life support, but a judge changed his mind about that. He had originally given doctors permission to disconnect her in the evening, but he extended the order until a week from today. To doctors, the 13-year-old died when her brain did and needs to be let go. To her family, she’s alive as long as her heart’s beating. They say she’s giving them little signs of life, like hand gestures. They plan to fight for her to the last breath.

Jahi McMath Photo

Deadly deadline: Negotiate now or face consequences: That’s what mediators in East Africa are telling rebels and the government in South Sudan, where ethnic fighting has filled mass graves since mid-month. The consequences are aimed mostly at the rebels, led by former Vice President Riek Machar, who hasn’t come to the bargaining table yet. The deadline for him to do so is today. President Salva Kiir is ready to talk - or keep fighting. He told CNN he will negotiate, but if that doesn’t work, he said he’ll make peace by using weapons.

Olympic fears: Will it be safe to go to the Winter Olympics in Russia in February? Two deadly attacks in two days in the city of Volgograd have people asking that question. Bombs there killed more than 30 people in a train station and on a trolley bus, and the city is just 400 miles away from Sochi, where the games start in a few weeks. No one has admitted to the attacks, but one terrorist group from Chechnya has been threatening to disrupt the Olympics. Security at stadiums will be very tight, but experts are afraid terrorists may go for so-called soft targets nearby, like trains and buses.

Titanic goes down again: So you wanted to spend New Year’s Day with your honey watching Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet face fate in love’s embrace? If you were planning to do it via Netflix … well … hope you ordered it on DVD. It looks like the movie giant is deleting "Titanic," along with dozens of other old favorites from its streaming service right on New Year’s Day. If you search Netflix titles, you’ll see that the streaming rights for movies like "Top Gun," "Braveheart," "Do the Right Thing" and "True Grit" run out by tomorrow. Oh well, there’s always YouTube. Some fans have posted "Titanic" in full length there – in English and in Spanish.



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

Eeee, a shark!! Well, maybe not. Remember that mom who thought she saw a shark next to her son in a photo she took at the beach? Experts now disagree on whether it was a shark or a dolphin. Better safe than sorry - outta the water!

Stop that Frappicino: You've probably heard this one before. Little guy gets too close to a trademark held by a big company. Big company threatens legal action. Little guy backs off. This is not that story. This is the story of Jeff Briton who brewed a beer called a Frappicino, and Starbucks sent him a cease-and-desist order. Briton sent Starbucks a check for $6 - the total profit he had made on the beer – and a deliciously snarky letter!

Arachnophobia: In case you were wondering, this is how you remove a big, hairy spider crawling up your shoulder, neck, face and ear. Not for those afraid of spiders!


Whatta coaster: If this were a real roller coaster, it’s doubtful anyone could survive the ride. But this one is for special balls. The maker of this one claims it is the biggest one in the world.


Did I really say that? Yes, you did, and you were standing in front of a camera. Now, it’s on one very funny blooper reel. Here are the funniest on-camera accidents of 2013. Good thing the year’s over.


There you go. All you need to know to get an early start to your last morning of 2013. Be sure to tune in to "New Day" from 6 to 9 a.m. ET, join us at CNN.com/NewDayand go and have a GREAT NEW DAY!

December 31st, 2013
04:36 AM ET

See CNN's Top 10 Stories of 2013 as Chosen by You

We asked and you voted.

Here are some of the top ten stories of the year, as ranked by our CNN viewers.

These are stories that impacted the world, moved us all to tears, and filled us with hope.

A New Pope

In a shocking move, Pope Benedict XVI becomes the first pope to resign in almost 600 years. A month later, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is elected his successor, taking the papal name Pope Francis.

pope francis

Boston Marathon Attacks

Two bombs explode near the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three and injuring more than 180. A dramatic hunt ensues, ending four days later with the capture of suspected bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Boston marathon attacks

Nelson Mandela's Death

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former president and an international icon of freedom, dies at age 95.



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