January 16th, 2014
05:24 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day - Thursday, January 16

A tough day awaits teachers and students of a New Mexico school after a shotgun attack, the next time we see Gov. Christie’s aide might be under oath, and an Ohio convict on death row will make history today.

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

A bit experimental? European companies that make lethal drugs have banned them for use in executions in the United States. Now, an Ohio man is set to be put to death today by a two-drug cocktail that has never been used. No one knows exactly how Dennis McGuire will die, a death penalty expert said. His lawyers say the mixture of midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a painkiller, will cause him to suffocate in agony and terror. McGuire was convicted in 1994 of the brutal murder of Joy Stewart.


"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee": That message is attributed to Bridget Anne Kelly, a former close aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. A special State Assembly committee investigating traffic tie-ups on the nation’s busiest bridge - possibly as an act of political retribution - wants to hear from her. The first priority, when the committee gets to work today, is to issue subpoenas for people close to the governor and for more documents, two sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. That message allegedly kicked off the giant mess that crippled traffic in Fort Lee, New Jersey. The mayor there, a Democrat, had declined to endorse the Republican governor for re-election.

The scandal has put a dent in the popular governor’s poll numbers, but only a small one.

The bridge scandal has spawned some political satire, including this musical spoof by Jimmy Fallon and New Jersey rock icon “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen.

Erin McPike reports on the investigation at 7 and 8.


The proverbial finger on the button: Air Force officers who work around the country’s nuclear arsenal have to take proficiency exams. Nearly three dozen of them at a base in Montana are now caught up in a cheating scandal involving those tests. Sixteen of the officers were found to have actually cheated, but 18 more knew what they were up to and didn’t turn them in. But this is actually one scandal piled on top of another: A separate drug investigation brought the cheating scandal to light. Two officers implicated in it were also involved in the cheating. All 34 lost their certification to conduct nuclear operations, and the Air Force says the nation’s nuclear arsenal is secure. This is one in a string of scandals for the country's nuke handlers; here are some others.

Joe Johns gives details of the scandal at 6 and 8.


Dealing with it: Teachers face a tough task when Berrendo Middle School in Roswell, New Mexico, reopens today. They will help students cope with the shotgun attack by a 12-year-old that traumatized them this week, while they try to cope themselves. It’s a continuation of what they did right after the boy opened fire. On 911 recordings released to the media, teachers tried to calm terrified students. One caller heard on the tapes was perhaps distracting a child with small talk: “Talk to me. Hey, yesterday we had a day off. What did you do on your day off yesterday?”


Stephanie Elam talks about how Roswell will face the day at 6, 7 and 8.

Deeply troubling: Neighbors are distressed about the deaths of Alex Berman, 16, and his sister, Jacqueline, 15, at the hands of their mother this week. The two Florida teens were promising classical music students, living in an upscale neighborhood. But then their parents ended up in debt amid the economic downturn, which led to emotional stress and eventually to a recent divorce after 20 years of marriage. The wife, Jennifer Berman, e-mailed her ex-husband to tell him she would harm their children. When Richard Berman arrived at his former home in West Palm Beach, his children and ex-wife were dead. She allegedly killed the children before committing suicide.

Here's a special big one to start the day with:

Who will be picked? We'll tell you on "New Day" at 8: There are a lot of factors to take into account when trying to determine Oscar nominations. Take, for example, diet. Did the star gain or lose much weight to better perform the role? It worked for Robert De Niro ("Raging Bull"), Tom Hanks ("Philadelphia") and Charlize Theron ("Monster"). Or is there a sense of being overdue for recognition - the "lifetime achievement" factor? Welcome to the club, Don Ameche ("Cocoon") and Geraldine Page ("The Trip to Bountiful")! Maybe you're on the cusp of stardom. That helps, especially if you're an actress, because the Academy always wants to be au courant with the kids.

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

Biff! Zok! Pow! It was the height of video graphics in 1966. Those hand-drawn words flashed across the TV screen when Batman and Robin planted their knuckles on bad guys’ ugly mugs. The campy Caped Crusaders have re-re-re-run in their colorful leotards for decades, and the series is rumored to be released for sale or rent to the public this year, says Conan O’Brien. And, hey, he got to sit in the Batmobile!


Beatboxing analyzed: Here are some more smash-mouth noises, while we’re at it. Ever want to know exactly how your mouth makes beatboxing sounds? Try filming your lips in super slow motion. Funny ha-ha and funny weird.


Olympic sacrifice: It’s hard to tell Tracy Barnes from Lanny Barnes. They are identical twins and equally skilled on skis and with guns - they’re superbad at the Olympic discipline of biathlon. Tracy qualified to go to Sochi in February, but Lanny got sick at qualifiers and didn’t make it. Now, Tracy is giving up her slot so Lanny can go compete.


Against all odds: Just quit. You won’t make it. This isn’t for you. That’s what people told Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman to get him to stop playing football, because he is deaf. Luckily, he listened to his inner voice instead. Now, he is one game away from making it to the Super Bowl. Watch him in the playoffs against the 49ers on Sunday.


Traffic stinks! Scenario: Skunk gets paper cup stuck on its head in the middle of the road; a sympathetic guy can’t help but try to remove it - hopefully without getting sprayed. Pardon his couple of profanities, but he doesn’t want the skunk, let alone himself, to become roadkill.


Speaking of skunks in the middle of the road, are you old enough to remember this ode to roadkill?


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!

January 15th, 2014
05:16 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day - Wednesday, January 15

Shootings in a school and in a movie theater have left Americans shaken again, new helmet cam video reveals how rescue vehicles ran over a survivor of the Asiana Airlines crash, and same-sex marriage could become OK in Oklahoma after a new court ruling.

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


After survival, tragedy: Teenager Ye Meng Yuan didn't die from a plane crash at San Francisco International Airport last July. She actually survived the impact, only to die shortly after when a fire truck ran over her. Now, newly released helmet cam video obtained by CBS suggests emergency workers saw Ye's injured body on the ground before she was fatally struck, challenging earlier claims that she was accidentally run over because she may have been covered in firefighting foam. In the footage, one firefighter tried to stop an emergency vehicle racing toward the scene. "Whoa, whoa, whoa! Stop, stop, stop! There's a body ... there's a body right there. Right in front of you," the firefighter told the driver.

Look for the new video on CNN's "New Day."

Dan Simon shows the new, revealing video at 6, 7 and 8.


May not have been the first time: The texting dispute that turned deadly inside a Florida cinema apparently wasn't the first run-in that suspect Curtis Reeves had at a movie theater.  Another moviegoer told prosecutors that the 71-year-old former Tampa cop saw her texting and "glared at her the entire time throughout the movie" about three weeks ago. When the woman took a restroom break, Reeves followed her and "made her very uncomfortable," prosecutors said. The woman said she first heard about Monday's shooting on the radio while she was driving. "I had to pull over the car because ... it could have been us," she told CNN affiliate WTSP. "It was just so close to home."

Martin Savidge talks about the case at 6 and 7.


Stay home: The 12-year-old boy who allegedly opened fire inside a crowded gym with a shotgun may have warned some students not to go to school before the attack.  Students streamed out of Berrendo Middle School in Roswell, New Mexico, yesterday, sobbing and terrified after the shotgun blasts wounded two classmates. One of them, a 13-year-old girl, was operated on and is in stable condition. An 11-year-old boy is in critical condition with wounds to his head and neck. The shooting stopped when a teacher walked up to the preteen and talked him into putting the gun down.

Stephanie Elam talks about a tragedy that could have been worse at 6, 7 and 8. We hear from a shocked parent at 7 and get some background from HLN legal analyst Joey Jackson at 8.

Teen mischief: What kind of trouble can a 19-year-old get into? Pop star Justin Bieber might know. Police raided his house yesterday to look for evidence of a prank he is accused of. While there, they picked up house guest rapper Lil Za, saying they found drugs on him. What started it? Neighbors say Bieber egged their house, and they made a fuzzy cell phone video of the incident that turned up on TMZ’s website. We can’t confirm the images’ authenticity, and there is not a lot to see, because it’s dark. And that evidence police were looking for? Bieber’s own surveillance camera video - so they can see if anyone is heading next door with eggs.

Nischelle Turner gives us the Bieber lowdown at 6 and 8.

It may be OK in Oklahoma: Soon. Maybe. The state’s constitution has an amendment that says only heterosexual couples are allowed to marry. Voters approved it about 10 years ago. But yesterday, a federal judge in Oklahoma said the amendment is not OK, because it violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution - the one that guarantees equal treatment under the law. But don’t listen for wedding bells for same-sex couples anytime soon, as other people in the conservative state may appeal the ruling.

Back when voters approved the amendment, Sharon Baldwin and Mary Bishop filed suit against the marriage ban.

Here's an extra biggie to help you start your day - a "New Day" exclusive!


There’s no place like home: Shezanne Cassim is glad to be back in the U.S. of A. after spending time in jail in the United Arab Emirates. He and some friends made a goofy video making fun of Dubai’s youth and got into a lot of trouble for it. Now that he’s back on American soil, he’s telling all to "New Day" in an exclusive interview. He waited five months behind bars, he says, before anyone even told him what he what the complaint was.

Cassim tells his story exclusively to "New Day" at 7 and 8.

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

The show must go on: But not before an incredibly heartwarming interruption. In the middle of a performance of "Peter Pan" in Glasgow, Scotland, the actor playing Peter called over to the actress playing Wendy, dropped to one knee and popped out a ring. She said cried and said …


Cute or WHAT? Babies are soooo adorable! But top one off with a Cabbage Patch-style wig, and you get … jaws dropping and eyes popping. If this cute-on-cuteness happens to rub you the right way, an artist on the crafts website Etsy will custom knit one of these wool caps for your little doll for a song.

Cabbage patch wig

If only animals could talk: Some can - parrots, mynah birds and dogs. OK, canine vocabularies are pretty limited. But the word “no!” seems pretty easy to say, especially when a dog absolutely does not want to go into its kennel.


Winnie the OH MY GOD RUNNNN! Your sweet, cuddly little childhood cartoon friends like Winnie the Pooh, the Teletubbies and Bambi? Well, they’re all grown up now and, frankly, they’re psycho. At least that’s how illustrator Tohad draws them. And they’re pretty funny in a dark kind of way.

Winnie psycho   teletubbies_by_tohad

No “Hell’s.” Just “Angels”: The Pope on a Harley? 'Fraid not; Francis won’t be straddlin’ this hog. It was a gift from when he blessed thousands of Harley riders in June, and now he is putting the bike on auction to raise money to feed the poor. He personally hand-signed it “Francesco” across the gas tank.

Pope Harley

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!

5 Things to Know for Your New Day - Tuesday, January 14
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie under pressure again, as he is expected to talk today about Bridgegate once more.
January 14th, 2014
05:34 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day - Tuesday, January 14

Fallen baseball star A-Rod may have to tell all about alleged steroid use, House Democrats and Republicans agree on how to spend $1 trillion, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is to speak again on Bridgegate - this time at his State of the State address.

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


Theater tragedy: It started with a father texting his daughter in a Florida cineplex. It ended with him dead on the theater floor. The saga unfolded before moviegoers in Wesley Chapel, a town near Tampa. The previews were still running when he sent the text, setting off an argument with a 71-year-old retired police officer behind him. The men argued and argued before the former officer left and then came back. They argued some more before shots were fired, killing the 43-year-old dad and wounding his wife.

Tory Duncan reports at 6 and 7


Address under duress: State of the State addresses aren't usually occasions when the eyes of a nation are fixed on a governor. But that'll be the case this afternoon when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his. A source close to the governor tells CNN he will discuss the current controversy surrounding the George Washington Bridge. And there's another storm brewing for Christie. Federal officials are checking into the possibility that he misused relief funds his state received after Superstorm Sandy to make himself look good. The catastrophe pushed Christie onto the center of the national stage and made him look pretty electable to people far from the Jersey Shore. There has since been talk of a Christie presidential bid in 2016. A Democratic critic in New Jersey called for the investigation, after Christie and his family appeared in ads promoting New Jersey tourism to the rest of America.

Erin McPike gives us a preview at 6, 7 and 8.


I’ll be darned: Remember that Nebraska 2-year-old cursing like a sailor in a viral video? A juvenile court judge in Omaha now says the toddler can stay with his mother, but can’t go back home. How’s that work, you ask? Both will be placed with the same foster family, since both are juveniles. Their original home was deemed too dangerous for both of them, because of a history of gang involvement. Another kid at the home was wounded in gunfire, a county prosecutor said, and the boy’s 38-year-old grandmother has done jail time on gun charges.


What? No shutdown? It may be time for a double take. Democrats and Republicans in the House have agreed on a roughly $1 trillion spending package that will fund the government through the end of this budget year. No shutdown this time, no debt ceiling threats, no nothing. Just negotiations, agreements and sticking to previously made plans. The partisan battleground that raged for about three years over government spending and pushed the U.S. government to the financial brink seems to have fallen silent. Whew! The bill will mean cuts to lots of agencies, but pensions for disabled veterans are safe. The Senate still needs to sign off.

Hey, ever seen a trillion dollars? Pundits like to astound and shock us with what they figure it looks like. We can’t confirm the illustration, but it’s interesting to watch – keep an eye out for the sign that says $1 trillion.


A conservative group also used a pile of paper to skewer the spending bill. It’s a goodly stack. But hey, it must take some pretty specific guidelines to spend a trillion.


Coming out swinging: Baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez isn't going down without a fight. But in the process, the slugger may have let out a dirty little secret. Tucked deep in the lawsuit Rodriguez filed Monday against Major League Baseball to get his suspension vacated is a detailed report about his alleged steroid use. And boy, is it detailed. The report alleges injections of banned drugs, secret meetings and big money payoffs. Some of these accusations have leaked out in recent days as Rodriguez's fight with baseball has gotten uglier and uglier. But this report, compiled by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, is a graphic look at the case against Rodriguez.

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

Name my baby, maybe: A man in Canada is asking netizens to come up with a name for his baby. So far, Amelia seems a sure bet to win as first name, but there’s a neck-and-neck race for the middle name. Either Mae or All-Spark. The second one is a “Transformers” reference if you’re scratching your head. The couple say they still reserve the right to pick their own names for their kid. That’s a novel idea, naming your own kid.

Crowd source daughter name

God bless the 49ers: It’s easy to tell which team Pastor Tim prays will make it to the Super Bowl in a few weeks. When the start of San Francisco’s playoff game coincided with the kickoff of his worship service, the Lutheran pastor huddled with the congregation, preached an extra-short sermon and called a spiritual timeout, so he could watch his team. Make sure you watch the end of the video. BTW: The 49ers won.


A non-thinking cap: You think Google and the NSA know everything about you? Just wait. There’s a lot of buzz about possible future technologies to read your mind by scanning your brain. Italian designers are ready to defend your thinking cap with special accessories. They light up to warn you when someone is pointing a scanner at you, so you can react. Quick! Stop thinking now!


OMG! Emoji IRL!: What?? That’s text message-ese for: “Oh my God.” (You knew that part already.) “Emoji in real life!” Emoji is a Japanese expression for emoticons and other miniature pictures that folks add to their text messages, like a smiley face or a heart. Check out this Tumblr account dedicated real-life versions of these images.

Tumbler emoji

Geronimo! This ski jumper may get more attention in this viral video than he does during the Sochi Olympics in a few weeks. Norwegian Anders Jacobsen straps on a helmet cam for an in-your-face plunge into the snowy depths. The video has gotten more than half-a-million views in less than a week.


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!

5 Things to Know for Your New Day - Friday, January 3
A blanket of white sprinkles down on about 100 million Americans today.
January 3rd, 2014
05:15 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day - Friday, January 3

A Nor'easter is blanketing the Northeast in white and gumming up air travel, a man is suspected of stealing 60 brains, and an undocumented immigrant is legally allowed to practice law in California.

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

Sock it to me, sort of: So, snow is whipping across the Northeast, the wind chill is giving everybody’s face a nearly subzero close shave, and the governor of Connecticut, Dan Malloy, comes out and basically says: Ain’t nearly as bad as it was last year. OK, it’s winter in New England and Chicago, and, sure, it snows there then, but the white blanket is flopping down a foot or a couple thick on about 100 million people. Driving is going to be ugly; there will be wrecks and tragedy, so it’s time to be careful – as usual this time of year. If you’re a snowbird, you might miss your flight to Vegas or Honolulu or spend a lot of time perusing airports, while you wait on God-only-knows-what plane to come get you. Flight cancellations were pushing 1,500 before dawn, with even more delays. New York, Boston, Philly and Chicago airports top the ugh list on Flightaware.com.

Indra Petersons, Laurie Segall, Pamela Brown and Ted Rowlands wade through the snow in the Northeast and Midwest and through the mire at airports at 6, 7 and 8.

Sixty hot heads: This was not was your typical undercover sting. For starters, it was happening at an Indiana Dairy Queen. And the target was brains. Yeah, a brain bandit. The arrest last month of a 21-year-old suspect uncovered, police say, a macabre scheme to steal the brains of dead mental patients and sell them online. David Charles was allegedly peddling some 60 brains. And yes, amazingly there were customers. Court documents said some jars were sold on the auction site eBay by a middleman, despite a company policy against listing "humans, the human body, or any human body parts or products."


Wanted: Dead or alive? Aubrey Lee Price was declared legally dead, but it was allegedly part of a ploy to get away from the law. Seems he may have defrauded some investors out of their life’s savings to the tune of $40 million. That’s what the FBI said back when they started chasing Price, a former banker who was also once a minister. So one can imagine why he’d want to disappear. Some say he jumped off a ferry in Florida a year and a half ago to make it look like he drowned. He didn’t, of course. Then he completely changed his look from clean-cut to a hippy hairdo – beard and all. That part worked. He really, really does not look like the same man. Sounds amusing, but it was cruel, too. He never let his family know that he was still alive. Trying too hard to stay out of sight is what got him caught, it seems. His car's windows were way too tinted for Georgia police, and they pulled him over for it on New Year’s Eve.

David Mattingly fills us in on the mysterious former banker at 6 and 8.

“Illegal” legal eagle: Now here’s a story that will spur some debate. Sergio Garcia has been in the United States technically for 30 years all total. He speaks perfect English, went to college, worked hard, got a law degree, passed the bar exam - but somehow, that green card thing has not worked out for him. The visa he applied for 19 years ago is hung up in bureaucracy, so he’s undocumented despite his own best efforts. The California state bar blocked his law license over his undocumented status. So, he sued. Yesterday, the California Supreme Court said he’s right. He should be allowed to practice law in his home state. Critics are asking how someone who lives in the country illegally can swear to uphold the law. Others say Garcia is a law-abiding resident, and it’s not his fault that the system is broken.

They had him, but then ... : The man accused of murdering Eric Freed, a California priest, on New Year’s Day was being held by police just hours before the killing, but they had to let him go. Police took Gary Lee Bullock into custody early New Year’s Eve, because he was acting drunk and belligerent in public. They say he was very hot to handle. He was so rowdy, they say, that a jail refused to keep him, so officers moved Bullock to a hospital, where he allegedly flipped out, so they restrained him and took him back to jail. After he spent eight hours sobering up, they let him go. Less than two hours later, the church called police to let them know Bullock was there, but he wasn’t drunk, so they couldn’t take him again. In the morning, the church phoned police again. Freed, a priest, was found dead in the rectory, they told police. Yesterday, police rounded up Bullock again, who they say also had stolen the priest’s car. Freed apparently died from a beating.


Dan Simon tells the tragic story at 7.

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

Snow pooch in Batman pajamas: At least somebody’s glad it snowed. Mosley the greyhound goes bonkers over the fresh power and spins out while doing doughnuts on the ice in his Batman snow suit. Good thing he can’t drive.


Fowl play: Maybe it was because the courier was delivering Christmas presents way late. Or maybe after surviving Thanksgiving, a turkey just wanted some payback. A crazed gobbler went after a delivery driver at a FedEx truck and would not relent, until he climbed into a UPS truck parked behind it.


Move over Super Bowl; Puppy Bowl is back: Ask the MVP of this football game how it was when it’s over, and he (or she) will say: “Ruff!” The fluffiest, cutest puppies take to a mock football field for Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet every year on Super Bowl Sunday. (February 2 this year.) It’s a sports spectacular of adorableness – and not just with baby doggies. The cheerleaders are hedgehogs, and the halftime show is put on by kittens.


Vive la boom-bah: A drummer takes us through the hinterlands of France with a snappy boom-boom-bah beat. The background jumps from a meadow to a garage then a soccer pitch, but the man at the small drum set doesn’t miss a single lick. It’s an innovative promotional video for a group of French drummers who are showing off their bang-up talents.


A drone to love: OK, one last New Year’s video - really, last one, promise! It’s just too good to pass up. You know those drones we all love to hate? Well, one in Iceland got a priceless panorama shot of fireworks going off when the clock struck 2014. It seems drones might be good for something after all.


How about a sweet little extra-buzzie? A short one to jump-start your morning - the rooster's crow, if you will?

Breakfast is calling: If you’re reading this, you may be about to say hello to a nice portion of sunny-side-up eggs. Well, they’re here to greet you back. Have a listen. And good eating!


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 CNN.com/NewDay and go and have a GREAT NEW DAY!

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