5 Things to Know for Your New Day - Wednesday, January 8
Dennis Rodman's bombastic defense of his North Korean basketball game angered many back home.
January 8th, 2014
05:18 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day - Wednesday, January 8

Dennis Rodman's on the defensive, a former secretary of defense tells all, and we may be saying goodbye to the polar vortex.

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

Major fallout: Dennis Rodman’s bombastic outbursts yesterday during CNN's exclusive interview have both angered and bemused many. Rodman tried to explain his reasons for taking a team of retired NBA players to North Korea, but the interview with Chris Cuomo got heated. Well, Rodman got heated. And during the yelling, Rodman seemed to imply that Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen who was sentenced to 15 years in a labor camp in North Korea, had done something wrong. The reactions Rodman garnered are not unlike the ones he used to get during his NBA basketball career. He spent much of his playing days careening between being an immensely talented player and standing out as a sideshow attraction. Yesterday was another addition to a growing list of curious Rodman moments.

The fallout was major. The NBA distanced itself. Several lawmakers said Rodman was wrong. Bill Richardson, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, also bashed Rodman, saying he was "disappointed" by the former NBA star's performance. "I think Dennis Rodman crossed a line this morning by implying that Kenneth Bae might be guilty, by suggesting that there was a crime," said Richardson, who worked to secure the release of an American held in North Korea in 1996.
Today's the day Rodman and his crew of NBA old-timers are set to play a basketball game against the North Korean Senior National Team. But it almost feels like the game already happened. And Rodman lost.


Chris Lawrence will be live on this story. Former NBA player Greg Anthony and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson join us at 7. Terri Chung, Kenneth Bae’s sister, is set to join us at 8.

Book of bombshells: If you have some questionable things to say about your bosses, you may want to wait until you retire. It seems that’s what former Defense Secretary Bob Gates did. And now that Gates has left office, he's put some of those thoughts in a book. The book, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War," has not been released. But a review by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward has. And if the excerpts are any indication, this is going to be a juicy tell-all. The excerpts offer scathing critiques of President Barack Obama, fierce jabs at Vice President Joe Biden and an unflattering mention of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Woodward said. While there's praise sprinkled in for Obama and Biden, some say the Gates book could have a lasting effect. It could affect the upcoming presidential race.

Jim Acosta will give the latest on this story.

Thawing: Here’s the good news: Some of you will get to stop using strange phrases like polar vortex. Or lake effect. Or Snowpocalypse. Or Coldorampolapia. (OK, we made that last one up.) But the good news is this historic chill is lifting. Yeah! And it has been bad. Temperatures plummeted below freezing somewhere in all 50 states yesterday morning. But the heat's coming back for many of us today. And by Thursday, forecasters say, most of the country will be back to normal.

Indra Petersons, Ana Cabrera and Pamela Brown will all report on this story.

No Olympics: One of the most noticeable faces in skiing released some bad news yesterday. Lindsey Vonn said her knee problems were going to be too much for her to compete in next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi. "I am devastated,” she said on her Facebook page. The news came 11 months after she hurt that right knee at the world championships. The American champion skier, who's dating golfer Tiger Woods, says she'll have surgery and will focus on strengthening the knee. “On a positive note, this means there will be an additional spot so that one of my teammates can go for gold," Vonn added.

Mike Pesca from NPR will join us at 6 to talk about this.

What happened? “We called for help, and they killed my son.” That's what a North Carolina family is saying about the recent death of a teen at the hands of an officer. The shooting is being investigated, and a local prosecutor says it's too soon to pass judgment. It's not completely clear what happened. Keith Vidal, 18, died Sunday. The teen was schizophrenic and was having an episode  when the family called police for help. Three officers showed up, and the situation spiraled out of control, the family says. "There was no reason to shoot this kid," the teen's stepfather, Mark Wilsey, told CNN affiliate WECT yesterday. "They killed my son in cold blood. We called for help, and they killed my son."

David Mattingly reports on this story.

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

Polar vortex rap: Have you been wondering about that strange term that has been on the news lately? Polar vortex. This hip man in a hospital bed explains it to you.


Dog whisperer: Yeah. ... This was the last straw. Right after this video, they got voice lessons for the poor pooch here.


What time is it? This company came up with the great idea of a clock that doesn't tell you what time it is. Instead, it vibrates every five minutes. Confused? Watch this video.

Snow day for Gonzo: Meet Gonzo, one greyhound who hates going out in the cold. But Gonzo did allow his family to put a coat and boots on him for a sec.


Raccoon mechanic: This raccoon looked like he knew what he was doing until they saw the bill.

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 have a GREAT NEW DAY!

5 Things to Know for Your New Day - Tuesday, January 7
This has been a year for Florida State's Jameis Winston. First he wins the Heisman and then his team wins the title.
January 7th, 2014
05:24 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day - Tuesday, January 7

As the historic freeze grows, senators battle the cold to get to a key vote, and one of the only states feeling a little warmth wins a national championship.

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

Breaking records: How cold was it? It was so cold, even polar bears and penguins were being kept indoors yesterday. Zoos in Pittsburgh and Chicago said they were keeping those animals indoors to dodge the deep freeze. Humans were doing the same. Who could blame us? Yesterday brought a historic chill. It's part of an Arctic blast that plunged deep into the central United States on Monday, leaving Nashville 40 degrees colder than Albany, New York; Memphis 20 degrees colder than Anchorage, Alaska; and Atlanta colder than Moscow - Russia or Idaho, take your pick. And it’s not over. In fact, it's growing.

Forecasters say this cold snap could last until tomorrow or longer. Authorities have blamed 15 deaths on the cold so far, 11 of them from traffic accidents. The freeze is also causing major concerns for farmers.

Indra Petersons, George Howell and Tory Dunnan will report live on this story.

Late rally: Now Auburn may know how it feels. Auburn. Auburn spent this season rallying from behind and winning in the most exciting ways to somehow make it to the Bowl Championship Series title game. But last night, it was Florida State that played the role of heartbreaker. No. 1 Florida State re-emerged in the second half and rallied to defeat No. 2 Auburn 34-31 in the big game. The Seminoles (13-0) outscored the Tigers (12-2) 24-10 after halftime to win their third national title. It was FSU's second BCS crown and third national title.


Joe Carter will be live to give a recap and reactions to the game.

Delayed: This was not supposed to be another weather blog entry. But in some ways, it is. A key procedural vote on an extension of unemployment insurance benefits was delayed yesterday. Why? Because more than a dozen lawmakers could not make the vote because of travel delays caused by bad weather. The vote has been rescheduled for today, and about 1.3 million Americans are affected by the issue. This has been a contentious issue in the past.

Jim Acosta will be live on this story.

Old-school basketball: This may have been a good NBA basketball game 20 years ago. But now, it’s a mystery what Dennis Rodman and his collection of old-timers are going to do in North Korea tomorrow. It’s been announced that Rodman will take part in a controversial basketball game on the birthday of Kim Jong Un, the country's young, unpredictable leader. The game tomorrow will feature Rodman’s crew of NBA old-timers against the North Korean Senior National Team. The names? Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson, Vin Baker, Craig Hodges, Doug Christie and Charles D. Smith. And while some of these guys were good, none of them have played on an NBA all-star team this century. This comes just weeks after North Korea shocked the world by announcing the purge and execution of Kim's once-powerful uncle.

Arrested again: Mary Kay Letourneau. You probably remember that name. She’s the teacher who made headlines in the late '90s when she was arrested and served more than seven years in prison for raping one of her sixth-grade male students. (They later got married after she got out of prison and he grew to legal age). Letourneau got into trouble again recently, but this will not make major headlines. She was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license and failure to appear, according to authorities in Washington state.

Pamela Brown reports on this story at 7.

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

Quitting cat: There’s the saying that if first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Yeah, well, this cat has never heard that.


Poor Michael Bay: Ouch. There has been a lot of talk about this recent meltdown from famous director Michael Bay. As this video will show, not all of us are public speakers. But then again, not all of us are responsible for directing the "Transformer" series, "Armageddon" and "Pearl Harbor."


How cold is it? Cold enough for a guy in Canada to get more than 3 million clicks for showing what happens when you put boiling water in a water gun. …

Stadium zipline: This is what you do when you are one the worst football teams in the NFL. Staring at you, Jacksonville. Staring at you.


Race for his daughter: Tear-jerker alert. Chris McDonnell raced the 2013 Ironman championship to fulfill a promise he made to his daughter, Grace, a first-grader who died in the Sandy Hook school shooting.

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 have a GREAT NEW DAY!

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Thursday, December 26
Was this the worst Congress ever? A new poll seems to answer Americans' views on that question.
December 26th, 2013
05:12 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Thursday, December 26

It's the day after Christmas and may not be the best day for Congress or UPS. A new poll suggests this last Congress could have been the worst ever, and UPS struggles to catch up.

It's Thursday, and here are the “5 Things to Know for Your New Day."


Peace on Earth: From the typhoon-rattled Philippines to conflict-torn Syria to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican - all very different places, but all held similar wishes of hope on Christmas. Pope Francis gave his first Christmas Day address Wednesday. He spoke about the phrase "peace on Earth."  The pontiff told tens of thousands of people gathered in front of the Vatican exactly where he wants that peace to happen. In Syria, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Holy Land, the Pope said. In the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II called for quiet reflection. In Hawaii, where President Barack Obama is on vacation with his family, he urged Americans to embrace the Christmas spirit.

And of course the one who embraced the Christmas spirit was ol' Santa Claus. St. Nick was spotted everywhere in the last couple days. He was seen skiing, surfing, riding a fire truck, at the New York Stock Exchange , even scuba diving. …


Erin McLaughlin and our team will provide a recap of Wednesday's festivities.


Scary Christmas: Tens of thousands did not get the Christmas they were expecting, and many may still be in the dark. Many were without electricity in Michigan, southern Ontario and parts of the U.S. Northeast on Wednesday after winter storms struck. Bonita Thomas told us she spent Christmas in a shelter trying to stay warm after her building in the Flint, Michigan, area lost power. She said she tried to tough it out in her apartment, but it just got too cold. Thomas had to go to the shelter, joining some 75 people there. "It was just getting too hard to bear," she said. The bad news is some utility companies in the area said the last outages might not be fixed until the weekend.


Jennifer Gray will be live on this story.


Special delivery: Some delayed Christmas gifts may be arriving Thursday from UPS. And the company spent Wednesday apologizing for the problems that left some Americans with gifts missing from under the Christmas tree. The delivery giant said it was hit with bad weather and an influx of online shopping after Black Friday. And that one-two punch caused the company to stumble and not keep up with demand. "We're terribly sorry," spokeswoman Natalie Black told CNN. “We know how hard it is for everyone to receive their holiday packages, and we're working around the clock to resolve this issue." The apology has not stopped the stream of criticism from some frustrated shoppers.

But if UPS thought things are about to slow down, it may be in for a surprise. The after-Christmas sale season is beginning, and some analysts think it's as important as Christmas.

Nick Valencia will be live on this story.


Worst ever: It's been called the “do-nothing” Congress and many other labels. But how about “worst ever” for a new label for the 113th Congress? Wow. That’s how many in a new CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday see it. Two-thirds of those questioned said the current Congress is the worst in their lifetime, with 28% disagreeing. "That sentiment exists among all demographic and political subgroups. Men, women, rich, poor, young, old - all think this year's Congress has been the worst they can remember," said Keating Holland, CNN polling director. A look at the numbers shows that in 2013, Congress spent more time at the office but got less done than at any time in recent history. How much got done? There are many measures of congressional activity, but one has sparked the "do-nothing" label:  bills passed. This year Congress passed 64 bills, which is the lowest amount in modern history. Last year, Congress, passed 148.

Dana Bash will be live on this story.


More fighting: Four Navy SEALs were injured Wednesday as a small number of U.S. troops were in South Sudan trying to help in the conflict there. In the South Sudan city of Bor, the evidence of the conflict was everywhere. On Christmas Day, the stores were looted, emptied of everything. The hospitals had no medicine. Even the doctors ran to save their lives. On both sides of main roads, streams of people carried all their belongings. Even chairs. The fighting between rival ethnic groups, which began in the middle of December, has led to mass killings as evidenced by mass graves, the United Nations has said. The U.N. Security Council has just voted to add thousands more troops to its peacekeeping forces there.

Arwa Damon will report on this story.

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

- Christmas fails: Now that you got your gifts, you can take time and laugh at some of Santa’s most unfortunate moments.


- Terrible Christmas gifts: Remember this? A TV host asked parents to buy horrible Christmas gifts for their kids and film their reactions. Oh, no.

- A hot engagement ring: This Craigslist post offers a tempting deal: a 1.5-carat engagement ring in the original box for $1,800. The only catch? Well, according to the poster, it was worn by “Satan herself.”


- Meatball on carousel: Look, it’s a cute doggie running and yelping gleefully on a merry-go-round. Give it a look! No, seriously, it’s pretty adorable (if a little repetitive).

- Basketball dance-off: This kid starts out a little shy at the one-minute mark but then pulls out more Michael Jackson moves than any one person needs.

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!

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Friday, December 20
The Duck Dynasty family is standing together after the recent controversy. But will the show survive?
December 20th, 2013
05:02 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Friday, December 20

The Duck Dynasty family is standing by their man, Obama sends troops to an African conflict and more than 40 million Target shoppers may want to check their credit card statements.

It's Friday, and here are the “5 Things to Know for Your New Day."


Rumpled feathers: Will A&E's popular reality show "Duck Dynasty” survive this? The family behind the show broached that question yesterday. They released a statement backing patriarch Phil Robertson, one day after the network suspended him over controversial remarks he made about gays and blacks. "While some of Phil's unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible,” the Robertson family said. The statement went on to question the future of the reality show. "We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty." Whoa. This all stems from just released interview with GQ magazine when Robertson said homosexuality is a sin and seemed to put it in the same category as bestiality and promiscuity. The debate from Robertson’s statements has been intense.

Nischelle Turner will give updates on this story.


Crumbling ceiling: A real life drama unfolded yesterday at London's historic Apollo Theatre. Part of the century-old structure's ornate plaster ceiling tumbled five stories. Dozens were injured –seven seriously. The panic occurred during a play, a mystery called the "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." About 40 minutes into the play, one of the actors yelled “Watch Out!” Some thought it was part of the play. It wasn’t. A loud creak followed, and the ceiling began to come down. Officials said none of the injuries appeared life threatening. Now the mystery is what caused the collapse. Police say it was an accident and not deliberate but it will take engineers to really determine the true cause.

Erin McLaughlin will be live on this story.


At the precipice: President Obama weighed in on the conflict in the South Sudan as deadly clashes spread in Africa’s newest nation. Obama spoke yesterday as the government in South Sudan said rebels have taken the town of Bor. "In 2011, millions of South Sudanese voted to forge a new nation, founded on the promise of a more peaceful and prosperous future for all of South Sudan's people," Obama said in a statement. "In recent years, against great odds, South Sudan has made great progress toward breaking the cycle of violence that characterized much of its history.Today, that future is at risk. South Sudan stands at the precipice. Recent fighting threatens to plunge South Sudan back into the dark days of its past," the President said. Amid violence this week, Obama sent 45 U.S. service members to South Sudan. In a letter to Congress, he said the troops were deployed "to support the security of U.S. personnel and our Embassy."

Meanwhile, violence is raging in the Central African Republic as well. Samantha Power, a top U.S. diplomat with an expertise in genocide, arrived there yesterday to gauge sectarian unrest between Christians and Muslims. Amnesty International said former rebels in the Central African Republic killed almost 1,000 people in a two-day rampage this month.

Elise Labott will be live on this story


Massive: That’s probably a word you don’t want to hear when it comes before security breach. But unfortunately there was a massive breach of credit and debit card data at Target that could affect 40 million shoppers, the store said this week. This breach happened the three weeks after Thanksgiving. The Secret Service was called in to help. Yesterday, a company spokeswoman said it had resolved the security issue that allowed the information to be stolen.
The only problem is there has been no word on whether the thieves have been caught. And experts say the crooks can  make fake debit cards and withdraw cash using the information they stole from Target.

Kevin Mitnick, a security professional, will join us 7 to talk about how consumers can protect themselves.


Murder trial: A Detroit man says he shot and killed a 19-year-old woman accidentally when she came to his porch. The victim’s family says the teen was desperately seeking help after being in a car crash, and was killed instead. Whatever the case, the Detroit man will have to stand trial for second-degree murder, a judge ruled yesterday. The judge said that there was enough evidence for Theodore Paul Wafer, 54, to face trial in connection with the November 2 shooting of Renisha McBride. The details of the case made national news earlier this year. McBride, authorities say was intoxicated and possibly disoriented after a car crash and made her way to Wafer’s porch that day. The two did not know each other. And McBride’s family says the teen may have been asking for help. Wafer has said he thought the teen was trying to break in and he went to the door holding a shotgun. He has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Susan Candiotti reports on this story.

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

- Parkour Santa: The mystery of how Santa gets to all those houses so quickly gets solved in this video.


- Another singing family: Last week we met the Holderness family and their viral song about Christmas pajamas. Now here comes this almost too happy Bock family and the soon to be viral holiday song.


- Upside down family: Talk about production value. The Slade family are veterans of viral video Christmas cards. Check this one out.


- Peanuts Mob: This one brings one question to mind. Do these people have jobs?


- Seal buddy: This guy becomes fast friends with a seal.


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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