January 17th, 2014
05:26 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day - Friday, January 17

A traffic job created especially for Gov. Chris Christie's friend who "got it," President Obama’s expected to say the NSA will do better as new spy stories hit the news, and first lady Michelle Obama turns a "fabulous" 50 today.

Welcome to the Friday edition of "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

1. OBAMA NSA SPEECH

Changes on the horizon? It started with a leak to the media seven months ago. And the ripple effects aren't over yet. Since June, Edward Snowden has continued delivering stories about phone and e-mail snooping, drop by drop. His leaks put the U.S. in hot water as outraged world leaders reacted to revelations they’re not exempt from spying. Today, President Obama will work to stem the flood of objections against NSA spying. The scope of data collected by Snowden triggered outrage from civil libertarians and split Washington lawmakers into two camps – one determined to protect privacy and one insistent on pursuing national security. The President is expected to announce that spying will continue, but with more respect for civil liberties. As the leaks keep on coming.

Jim Acosta's on the spying story that won't quit at 6, 7 and 8.

2. CHRISTIE FALLOUT

Man who “got it”: Gov. Chris Christie’s not the only one in a jam over the lane closures scandal. David Wildstein, a high-profile political appointee, is too. When he was introduced to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey four years ago, Wildstein was labeled a good friend of the governor, someone with knowledge of his hiring told CNN in an exclusive interview. Shortly thereafter, the former politician got another title: director of interstate capital projects. It was a job made especially for him. As the scandal ensnares more people, Wildstein’s catapulted into the national spotlight with two words: “Got it.” It was his response to Bridget Anne Kelly’s message, "Time for some traffic problems in Ft. Lee.”

Erin McPike reports on "Bridgegate" at 6 and 7. And at 8, a former assistant prosecutor from New Jersey joins us live.

3. MICHELLE OBAMA

Fabulous at 50: The job stress has turned her husband’s hair a snowy gray. But Michelle Obama remains ageless as she passes the big 5-0. She’s not just embracing her half-century milestone, she's relishing it. She says she’s never felt more confident in her life. Describing herself as "50 and fabulous," the creator of the national children’s fitness program “Let’s Move” is getting ready to bust some moves herself at a big birthday celebration at the White House. Her digitally savvy President hubby has invited the public via Twitter to sign her birthday card.

Last year, he tweeted out some party pics. Maybe this year, too?

See CNN’s documentary on the first lady tonight at 10 ET: "An Extraordinary Journey: Michelle Obama Turns 50."

Nischelle Turner talks about the forever young Michelle Obama at 7.

4. CLINTON AND BENGHAZI

Fodder for 2016: Deserved or not, this is bound to haunt Hillary Clinton for a while - especially if she runs for President two years from now. The main part of a new intelligence report on the attacks that killed four people at the U.S. Consulate in Libya clears the former secretary of State of blame. But there’s a second part, an addition of sorts. It was written solely by Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This week, they laid the blame for the deaths of the four right at her feet. Post-report, they are talking it up and probably will until 2016 has come and gone.

Elise Labott talks about Benghazi’s political legacy for Hillary Clinton at 6, 7 and 8.

5. ENDANGERED RHINO

The hunted hunter: Corey Knowlton is an avid big game hunter. When he recently plopped down $350,000 to hunt a black rhino in Africa, the shot backfired. Knowlton got outed on social media for buying the permit from the government of Namibia to take aim at the endangered species. Now he says his life is in danger. "I find you and I will KILL you," read a message on his Facebook page. "I have friends who live in the area and will have you in their sights also,” said another. Knowlton now walks around surrounded by bodyguards. And that chunk of change he paid? He says it’s a donation to help protect endangered species in Namibia.

https://twitter.com/RVALAR/status/424071132686200832

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

A job for Super Mario: In today’s grueling job market, a whiz-bang resume that leaps off the page at you is a must. Designer-programmer (and NBA fan) Robby Leonardi totally gets it. His interactive video game CV is a Super Mario style slam-dunk!

Ay, caramba! So, you think you can dance, eh? Now, this is cutting a rug with a jitterbug! Make an appointment with a spine specialist before trying it.

Battles in the sky: You’ll root for the crows, guaranteed. Scientists strapped cameras onto falcons to find out how they hunt crows. Mostly what you see is the harried prey flapping and jousting for their lives. Go, crows, go!!

No contest: Dog vs. man in a breakneck slalom. The canine makes it look easy; the mountain biker will make you queasy.

Pigskin mystics: It’s played on Sunday for a reason. As the Super Bowl nears, even the most devout may attest that football is a religion. This Sunday, the flock gathers around AFC and NFC playoffs.

Football religion

If you’d never in your life seen football before, you might find it side-splittingly weird. Make sure your speakers are on:

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 (14 Responses)
  1. Hal Turner

    Clinton is less to blame for Benghazi than Bush/Cheney for 9/11.
    I'm incredibly concerned about government spending, but, the current GOP lacks too much character to consider supporting.

    January 17, 2014 at 11:05 am | Reply
  2. Johm

    Where in the "good book" does it say to kill and man and his family if he kills an endangered species? I think I missed that chapter. Not saying the whole rhino thing is a good idea, but that last line strikes me as very odd.

    January 17, 2014 at 10:51 am | Reply
  3. kw4life

    Happy 50th Birthday to First Lady Michelle Obama!

    January 17, 2014 at 10:10 am | Reply
  4. AB

    Can't...well yes I can...believe that you listed Clinton at #4 after the Senate's report, with Christie at #2?!?!. Should be #1, now and for the last year. It's absolutely shameful how much cover you continue to provide her. "Deserved or not"...?!?! She was AWOL for over a week afterward as the HEAD of the State Dept!!! She should've been answering the call and discussing the story...but it was better to have Rice go out and pump out lies and distortion?!?! Just get it over with and do what MSNBC, the NY Times and Newsweek have done and throw in the "Journalism" towel already...admit you're a mouthpiece for the DNC and quit trying to fool half the nation.

    January 17, 2014 at 10:09 am | Reply
  5. Deborah Ballard

    Happy Birthday from the Sunshine State! You do make Fifty look fabulous-a wonderful example for us all!!!

    January 17, 2014 at 9:05 am | Reply
  6. ElectricLion

    If that guy narrates the Superbowl, I am definitely watching!

    January 17, 2014 at 8:05 am | Reply
  7. Margaret Morgan

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA! ENJOY YOUR VERY SPECIAL DAY! FIFTY IS THE NEW FORTY!

    January 17, 2014 at 7:21 am | Reply
  8. Thomas Nichols

    They ruined the entire article (commentary) by headlining it with "Thanks, Snowden" The dog should have been sent into outer space without a suit.

    January 17, 2014 at 7:21 am | Reply
    • Jane

      He is destroying our safety and our freedom. Data collection PROTECTS our country and therefore our freedom.

      January 17, 2014 at 8:55 am | Reply

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