February 27th, 2014
04:55 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Thursday, February 27

Other states are considering the kinds of right-to-deny-service bills that Arizona's governor quashed. Calorie counting might get simpler if the FDA has its way. And our galactic maps just got a little more accurate.

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

1. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY MOVEMENT

Not just Arizona: A bill that would have allowed Arizona businesses to deny service to gays and lesbians out of religious conviction has died on the governor's desk. Other states, though - including Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi and Missouri - are considering similar bills. Proponents say the measures would protect people from being compelled to take actions against their religion, while critics say they're a way to discriminate against gays.

The Arizona development came on a day that a federal judge issued a ruling that, if it survives appeals, would strike down Texas' same-sex marriage ban.

2. NUTRITION LABEL MAKEOVER

The whole enchilada. Or soda bottle: You soon might have a harder time mistaking the number of calories you're getting from that soda. The Food and Drug Administration today is proposing changes to nutrition labels, and if they happen, your 20-ounce soda bottle would reflect calories and other data for the whole bottle, not just a theoretical 8-ounce serving. Other serving-size rules would similarly try to more accurately reflect what people usually eat or drink. Other proposed changes: A bigger emphasis on added sugars and certain nutrients, such as Vitamin D and potassium.

3. UKRAINE UNREST

Conflict of interests: Although a West-leaning government took over in Ukraine's capital after months of protests, not all of the country is ready to stray from neighboring Russia.  Today, armed men seized government buildings - and raised a Russian flag over one of them - in Ukraine's southern Crimea region, according to an official there. Earlier, pro-Russian demonstrators faced off against rival protesters in the Crimean city of Simferopol. Meanwhile, Russia is conducting surprise military exercises near Ukraine. Crimea has tight ties with Russia, and one if its cities, Sevastapol, has a 60% Russian population and is home to Russia's Black Sea fleet.

4. CORY REMSBURG

His inspiring battle: Remember the war veteran who got a roughly two-minute standing ovation at President Obama's State of the Union address last month? Army Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, who was partially paralyzed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2009, has become one of the public faces of Americans returning from war with traumatic brain injuries. He celebrated his 31st birthday this week in a way that will likely surprise you. In a New Day interview airing today, see how he's getting through what he says is the most challenging battle he's ever faced.

5. PLANETS DISCOVERED

More rocks in the 'hood: You knew of only 1,000 planets in our galaxy? Silly Earthling. The list nearly doubled yesterday when NASA announced that it had discovered 715 more in the Milky Way, courtesy of the Kepler space observatory. Of those, four potentially could support life. Maybe they'll delay any planet-hopping, resource-plundering aliens for a bit. Anyway, expect Kepler to find even more planets.

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

- What gun?: After a man points a gun at a California store cashier, the clerk twists it out of his hand before another employee grabs him from behind and body-slams him, San Francisco TV station KTVU reports.

- Putting Rudolph in his place: This is what reindeer herding looks like from the sky, courtesy of a Norwegian photographer.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJu_aUHeVL4]

- A tiger walks into a Chicago-area bar: Seriously.

- Spike Lee explains gentrification rant: Director Spike Lee went on a expletive-laced rant about newcomers now inhabiting once-blighted parts of New York City this week. On Wednesday, he went on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" to explain what he was trying to get at.

- Mine, I say: Some human being thought he was going to give a piece of broccoli to a cat until another feline steps - or paws - in.

https://vine.co/v/MZFgubzx6U1

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

February 26th, 2014
04:41 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day –Wednesday, February 26

President Obama has blunt words for his Afghan counterpart. An anti-gay bill is in the Arizona governor's court. And obesity rates have plummeted among U.S. children.

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

1. AFGHANISTAN DEAL

U.S. running out of patience: We're not bluffing: That's what the Obama administration told Afghanistan yesterdayIf no bilateral security deal is signed, the U.S. says it's planning to withdraw all its troops from the nation by the end of the year. The White House statement showed President Obama's impatience with President Hamid Karzai's refusal to sign the agreement, which would keep thousands of American troops in the country after combat operations conclude this year.

What does this mean for both nations? Barbara Starr tells us at 6.

2. OBESITY RATES

Sharp drop among children: The scales are tipping – in a good way – for the nation’s smallest eaters.  Obesity rates  for those ages 2 to 5 years have plummeted over the past decade, a new study shows. Between 2003 and 2012, obesity rates for those ages declined from 14% to 8%.  Great news, hopefully enduring. But experts say the fight is far from over.  "We still have a long way to go before we solve this problem once and for all," first lady Michelle Obama said yesterday. She has been instrumental in pushing the Lets Move! campaign to fight obesity.

What's behind the drop? Joe Johns brings us the latest at 6.

3. ARIZONA ANTI-GAY BILL

The bill's in her court: To sign or not to sign? That’s the question for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. All signs indicate she'll probably veto the bill, which would allow the use of religious beliefs as a basis for businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians. Supporters say it promotes religious freedom; opponents say it discriminates. In an exclusive interview with CNN in Washington, Brewer did not signal her intention either way. "I'm going to go home, and when I receive the bill, I'm going to read it and I'm going to be briefed on it. And I will make my decision in the near future," she said.

Ana Cabrera is live all morning with the latest.

4. AIR MARSHALS

Numbers pared down: This doesn't sound good. The number of plainclothes  federal officers protecting aircraft from terrorists has gone down in the past three years, according to an internal e-mail obtained by CNN. The exact number of marshals is secret, and the Homeland Security Department declined to say how many positions have been eliminated. Nor would it say what percentage of marshal positions were cut. But that's disconcerting news just days after the U.S. warned of shoe bomb threats.

5. OKLAHOMA DEATH

New video, more questions: Relatives of a man who died after a struggle with cops at an Oklahoma movie theater released a cell phone video showing five officers restraining him on the ground. His wife, Nair Rodriguez, shot the video of her husband, Luis Rodriguez, outside a Moore theater this month. But questions remain about the manner of his death, and why the altercation between his wife and daughter prompted police action.

luiz

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

Runaway koala: Everyone fantasizes about breaking free from life's constraints. Mundu, a curious koala at the San Diego Zoo, did just that.  The 2-year-old escaped from his enclosure yesterday and spent the day sleeping in a tree high above his exhibit. Zoo officials say he’s on  the cusp of sexual maturity, and with raging hormones, he's constantly testing limits. Rage on, lil' fella. Rage on.

Close encounter: Girl gets whacked in the head by a whale. Maybe it just wanted a high-five?

Hands-free selfies: No more straining your arms for a good shot. The CamMe App lets you prop up your phone and take a picture from 16 feet away.  Just raise your fist to activate a 3-second timer, pose and off it goes. Clever, right? And free.

 

Oh, bear: We nearly overlooked this video of frolicking bear cubs. Until one of them started twerking, and we were sold. See how much thought goes into this?

 [youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYXj1Q_Zrsc&feature=youtu.be"%5D

Special kinda genius:  Oh, what to do when your car stalls? I know, I know! Tie it to a random bus for a free tow. Then sit back and watch the hilariously bad end result.

[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-tKEWiWYvo#t=62"%5D

 

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!

February 25th, 2014
05:14 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Tuesday, February 25

Arizona's governor has a choice to make on a controversial right-to-deny-service bill. Researchers are looking for answers after a mystery disease paralyzes limbs in five children. And Ukrainian lawmakers are in a hurry to create a new government with an ousted President on the run.

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

1. ARIZONA CONTROVERSY

Veto or not: It is decision time for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, and this one may not be easy. She has to decide if she will sign a bill that supporters say promotes religious freedom and opponents say discriminates against gays and lesbians. The bill could let business owners, as long as they assert their religious beliefs, deny service to gay and lesbian customers.

She has until Saturday morning to sign or veto the bill. If she does nothing, it automatically becomes law. What will she do? She's been a conservative champion, but Arizona GOP sources say she also considers herself pro-business, and some business leaders are encouraging her to oppose the measure.

Miguel Marquez reports at 6.

2. UKRAINE UNREST

Short-order government: After months of protests came to a head with deadly clashes and the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych last week, Ukrainian lawmakers are in a hurry to come up with an interim government that can steer the country until presidential elections in May. The interim President said that he aims to have a unity government by Thursday.

But even with Yanukovych gone - he's on the run, evading an arrest warrant - those in power face lots of challenges, including a division between the east and west of the country, and the intentions of Russia, a key backer of the former President.

Nick Paton Walsh will have the latest at 6.

3. MYSTERY ILLNESS

Polio-like syndrome in California: What caused five California children to be paralyzed in an arm or leg? Neurologists in that state are alerting the public about a polio-like syndrome that appeared in those children in 2012 and 2013. The emphasize that it appears to be very rare, but they want other doctors to be aware to help them determine the cause, and they want any other cases identified quickly. Researchers don't know what caused these cases, though it's not poliovirus, and they say similar syndromes pop up every couple of years elsewhere in the world.

On Monday evening, the parents of one of the children, 4-year-old Sofia Jarvis of Berkeley, told reporters that they've been told her left arm is permanently paralyzed. She goes to preschool and can write with her right hand. The difficulties? "Day to day getting dressed, tying her shoes, those things that she would normally be learning right now ... we are going to have to find a new way of doing," said her mother, Jessica Tomei.

Dan Simon will have the latest at 6.

4. SHRINKING THE ARMY

Smallest Army in 70 years? If U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has his way, the nation's Army would be cut to its lowest number of active-duty troops since the buildup to World War II. Hagel on Monday proposed a scaled-back military spending plan, one that he said would reflect the country's fiscal challenges but still let it dominate one war while still maintaining effective defenses for a second.

Expect a fight over this. Republican hawks have previously battled President Barack Obama's attempts to reduce defense spending as part of overall deficit reduction. And South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says proposed cuts to the National Guard are a "slap in the face" to anyone who has served in the reserve military force.

Barbara Starr will report live at 6.

5. TED NUGENT

Done with name calling? Republicans weren't happy with conservative rocker Ted Nugent after he called Obama a "subhuman mongrel," and apparently Nugent is listening. He apologized last week, and on Monday he told CNN that criticism by fellow conservatives persuaded him to give up name calling. He says he represents many of the people they do, and "I think I owe it to those great Americans to be more civil when I represent them." He also insisted that his "mongrel" remarks, made in an interview last month, were not racist.

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

- Harold Ramis' debilitating disease: People are mourning Harold Ramis, the actor, writer and director whose films include "Stripes," "Ghostbusters," "Groundhog Day" and "Analyze This." The disease that led to his death, vasculitis, is one of a family of maladies that can starve organs and cause painful tissue damage.

- Waffle taco: Taco Bell has announced a breakfast menu that's debuting in late March. The waffle taco in particular is getting attention on social media.

- If only it had thumbs: This dog would like to open a bag of marbles. It's not having much luck.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5BDTXXmTJQ]

- That sinking feeling: BBC reporter Caroline Bilton drops from view during a live report.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vfSPerv4Bw]

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!

February 24th, 2014
04:22 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Monday, February 24

The NBA's first openly gay player takes to the court. The United States covets what it possibly can't have in a newly captured Mexican drug lord. And more than one man thinks he's in charge of Ukraine.

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

1. JASON COLLINS

Out - and now in the league: Jason Collins was poised to become the NBA's first openly gay player for a long while - he disclosed his sexual orientation in a magazine column 10 months ago, at the end of the regular season. Then the 12-year veteran with dwindling stats couldn't find a roster spot. But Collins finally took his place in league history on Sunday when he signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets and, playing for 12 minutes and pulling down a couple of rebounds, helped them to a win against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Stephanie Elam will report live at 6.

2. UKRAINE UNREST

Who's the boss? After months of protests and a couple days of deadly clashes in Kiev's streets, Ukraine's Parliament voted over the weekend to oust President Viktor Yanukovych and appoint an interim president. But Yanukovych claimed in a TV broadcast that he's still in charge, saying he was forced to leave the capital because of a "coup." He was in eastern Ukraine for those remarks, but now, with an arrest warrant out for him, he's nowhere to be found. We have a handy explainer of all the dizzying developments here.

Nick Paton Walsh will report from Kiev at 6.

3. 'EL CHAPO' CAPTURED

U.S. wants him next: Thirteen years after he escaped from a Mexican prison, one of that country's most-wanted fugitives, notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was arrested in a Mexican resort city. It took a lot to find him - wiretaps, secret tunnels, informants and all sorts of fascinating other things. So, what to do with him? Mexico has the first crack at prosecution, though the United States, not encouraged by his 2001 escape, would like to try him in a U.S. court. Says one law enforcement analyst: Don't hold your breath, America.

Ted Rowlands will report from Chicago at 6

4. WINTER OLYMPICS

So long from Sochi: The folks running the Winter Olympics' closing ceremony have a sense of humor. As silvery "fish" swam on the stadium's floor Sunday, they began to form the five Olympic rings. In a nod to a malfunction at the opening ceremony two weeks earlier, one of the rings initially failed to open. Eventually, it sprang into form, to laughter and cheers.

After more than two weeks of Olympic competition on the tube, some of you will be suffering from withdrawal. Now it's time to look back on the most memorable moments from Sochi - like Bode Miller's raw emotions, the Sochi wolf that wasn't, the coach who lent a ski to an opponent and the guy with the mariachi ski costume.

Ivan Watson will report from Sochi, Russia, at 6.

5. CARBON MONOXIDE DEATH

Deadly leak at Long Island mall: What led to a carbon monoxide that authorities say killed a restaurant manager and sickened 27 other people at a Long Island mall? Emergency crews rushed to the Legal Sea Foods restaurant in Huntington Station, New York, after hearing that someone had collapsed in the basement. Police found the manager unconscious, and he was pronounced dead at a hospital. A town official says investigators found a leak in water heater's flue pipe.

Also over the weekend, seven people at a motel in Ogunquit, Maine, were taken to hospitals after complaining of nausea and headaches. Emergency responders found high levels of carbon monoxide there.

Alexandra Field will report live with the latest at 6.

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

- This isn't the Daytona 500 you're looking for: If the Daytona 500 you were watching late Sunday afternoon looked familiar, that's because it was last year's. During a weather delay of Sunday's actual race, Fox Sports showed the 2013 version - and when that rerun finished, people took to the Internet thinking Jimmy Johnson had won. He had - just not this year. Even Fox News was confused for a little bit.

Sunday's eventual winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

- Super long spelling bee still going: Remember the baseball all-star game that ended in a tie because the teams ran out of pitchers? Missouri fifth-grader Sophia Hoffman and seventh-grader Kush Sharma are such good spellers, they ran out of approved words in their spelling bee Saturday, so they have to come back in a month to finish their duel.

- AC/DC never sounded like this: Try this version of "Thunderstruck," by Croatian cellists 2Cellos.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT3SBzmDxGk&feature=youtu.be]

- Singing kitty: This commercial from mobile phone service Three features a bicycling girl in red galoshes belting out Jefferson Starship's "We Built This City" with a cat.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXy6JElmgHU&feature=youtu.be]

- Down goes the Metrodome: The latest part in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome's multiphase demolition happened Sunday in Minneapolis.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgbWci_LURw&feature=youtu.be]

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!

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