Gov. Christie apologizes again and again, Dennis Rodman's whereabouts are a mystery and the family of Kendrick Johnson is still searching for answers one year later.
Welcome to the Friday edition of "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."
Rebuilding a bridge: Gov. Chris Christie spent yesterday firing some of his closest allies and then apologizing for the bridge scandal. But will it be enough to quell this growing controversy? Time will tell. Yesterday Christie was contrite and apologetic during a nearly two hour news conference. He said he was sorry that his top aides and a political ally targeted a local mayor with a scheme to tie up traffic in his town as punishment for not supporting Christie for re-election. He said he was out of the loop and not aware of what his staff had done. "I knew nothing about this,” Christie said. After the news conference Christie went to apologize to the mayor personally.
Today could be another crucial day for Christie. New Jersey officials looking into the bridge scandal are set to release nearly 1,000 documents. What’s in those documents may add to the growing legal questions now facing the governor's administration, which is under scrutiny by the U.S. Attorney's office, with the help of FBI investigators. Ah, oh. Probably not the best situation for a man thought of as a frontrunner in the upcoming race for the Republican presidential nominee.
Pamela Brown, Joe Johns, Jeffrey Toobin and the rest of our team will give us the latest on this story.
2. DIPLOMAT STRIP SEARCH
Leaving the country: The female diplomat embroiled in a controversy that has strained ties between New Delhi and Washington, is on her way back to India from the United States. This case has caused protests in India. And amazingly, it stems from the diplomat's alleged underpaying 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 led to protests. Khobragade was indicted this week.
Jim Sciutto will be live on this story.
3. UNEMPLOYMENT DEAL
Deal or no deal? A deal to extend to unemployment benefits for more than a million Americans hit some turbulence yesterday. It seemed like a done-deal in the morning. Well at least lawmakers were saying they had cobbled together enough votes between the two parties to begin debate on the bill. But, by the afternoon, things had fallen apart. And the finger-pointing began. The sticking point is the 55-member Senate Democratic caucus can't pass the bill without help from Republicans to clear procedural hurdles that require 60 votes to pass. And as you might guess, it has been difficult to reach that magic number. The clock is ticking. There is another key vote set for Monday and lawmakers are hoping to get a deal set before then.
Jim Acosta will be live on this story.
4. KENDRICK JOHNSON CASE
One year later: Last year, on this day, Kendrick Johnson did not return home from his high school. He was 17. And the teen's family is still searching for the reason that he died. Local authorities had said the teen's death was accidental. They had said the teen slipped and fell in the school gym, got wedged in a gym mat and died. But Johnson's family never believed that story. And other experts have said investigators missed clues that could have suggested foul play. But a lot has changed since Kendrick Johnson was found rolled up in gym mat in Georgia high school last year. The FBI is investigating the suspicious death. And the teen's family says they hope they are closer to finding out the truth. "That is my child and we are going to fight until we get the truth," said Jacquelyn Johnson. "That is all we ever asked for."
Victor Blackwell will be live on this story.
5. DENNIS RODMAN
Where art thou? More members of Dennis Rodman's basketball team exited North Korea today. But Rodman's whereabouts are still a mystery. Charles Smith, one of the ex-NBA players who traveled with Rodman to North Korea to play a basketball game, spoke to reporters at Beijing. "We accomplished that mission," Smith said. "All the players that were there, American tourists, even our documentary film crew, I think we could all agree that the trip was just simply incredible." The trip to North Korea has made headlines all over the world after Rodman lost his temper during an interview with on CNN's "New Day." Rodman issued an apology for that outburst yesterday and blamed it partly on drinking.
Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a few others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing:
Marshmallow time: Remember the days when you had time to make stylish videos about throwing marshmallows in people's mouths? No?
Joy riding: You can't go wrong with watching another baby riding a Roomba.
Beat boxing baby: This youngster shows some a little early musical interest.
Crazy handstand:90’s hip-hop superstars Kriss Kross popularized the idea of wearing your clothes backward, but photographer Patrice Letarnec took that concept to its absurd extreme: a series of photographs showing people doing handstands with their clothes on upside down. Take a look at this,