January 26th, 2014
11:14 PM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Monday, January 27, 2014

A gunman's journal may hold clues to why he opened fire at a mall store. A cruise ship with more than 600 sick passengers is headed back. And today may be a key test of Russia's Olympic preparedness.

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


Elusive answers: This much is known: Darion Marcus Aguilar drove up in a cab to the The Mall in Columbia, Maryland, went into a shop for skaters and opened fire. He killed two shop employees - 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson - before taking his own life. The question bedeviling investigators now is: Why? Why did the 19-year-old do it? It doesn't appear that he knew the victims.

Police released this photo of shooting suspect Darion Marcus Aguilar.

"I know there's a lot of interest in the motive for this, and I have as much interest in that as anybody."
- Howard County Police Chief Bill McMahon

Clues, if not the answer, may lie in the gunman's journal. Cops say that in it, he expressed "some general unhappiness with his life."
More: Cops: Mall gunman expressed 'general unhappiness' in journal

The mall reopens today. And throughout the morning, Erin McPike will bring us the latest in the investigation


Royal pain: For more than 600 passengers aboard the Explorer of the Seas, the cruise has become just that. The Royal Caribbean ship set sail from New Jersey on Tuesday, but it's now headed home because there's been an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness on board.

Passengers and crew are throwing up and fighting diarrhea. The cause isn't clear, but the symptoms are consistent with norovirus.

"I started with upset stomach and vomiting, and that lasted all night and into the morning"
- Passenger Joseph Angelillo

More: Royal Caribbean cruise cut short after more than 600 are sickened

This morning, we'll hear from senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen about cruises and outbreaks.


Turn the page: A wrenching court fight ended yesterday when Marlise Munoz was finally taken off a ventilator. The pregnant woman was brain dead, and her family wanted her body released for burial. But the hospital said its hands were tied. A Texas law says you can't hold back life-sustaining treatment for a pregnant woman.

"May Marlise Munoz finally rest in peace, and her family find the strength to complete what has been an unbearably long and arduous journey."
- Munoz family statement

More: Brain-dead Texas woman taken off ventilator


Winter War Games: The Games are less than two weeks away, and all we're still talking about are security concerns. The U.S. is putting two warships in the Black Sea and keeping a transport aircraft on standby in Germany. It's an unfortunate necessity. Islamic militants have made it quite clear that they'll try to disrupt the Games.

"You'd hope that the U.S. wouldn't be sitting around waiting for a telegram from Russia going 'hey, come and get your people' "
- Former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes

Today will be a key test. The Olympic torch passes through Dagestan, a militant hotbed.
More: Welcome to Sochi, the security Games

Correspondent Ivan Watson's in Sochi, keeping an eye on the torch run. At 7, we'll talk to family members of some of the athletes competing, and also with our national security analyst, Fran Townsend


We're up all night to get lucky: Some did - like our favorite robot duo Daft Punk. And some got robbed (the McCartney-Dave Grohl collab over Muse for best rock song? Really?). But we didn't tune in just to see who got, as Jay-Z put it, a gold sippy cup.
We tuned in for Pink's jaw-dropping acrobatics:

... for Pharrell's Arby's-inspired hat, which spawned its own Twitter handle:

... for Queen Latifah marrying off 34 couples (gay and straight) during "Same Love":

... and for the five minutes of sheer, stunning awesomeness that was Kendrick Lamar TEARING THE ROOF OFF with Imagine Dragons!!

More: Daft Punk wins album and record of the year at 2014 Grammys
Even more: Moment-by-moment coverage

At 7 and 8, entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner will bring us the highlights and the lowlights

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

- Dance like no one's watching: Our friends at Mashable have prepared a nifty little guide to Taylor Swift's Grammy dance moves. Because, as they put it, "Like bad fashion, boring acceptance speeches and awkward hosts, Taylor Swift dancing at awards show is a basic staple."

- When doves cry: Pope Francis calls for peace in Ukraine and releases two white doves. A seagull and a crow promptly attack them.

- Chilling plot: This book changes temperature and vibrates depending on the plot. Why? Because how cool is it when words come alive?

- Plan B: ICYMI: Here's "SNL" mocking Russia's anti-gay laws: a heterosexual skating team.

- You're gonna hear me roar: No, not this "lion"

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 – Christmas Day
December 25th, 2013
02:16 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Christmas Day

It’s Christmas. And whether you celebrate it or not, we’re sure you can get behind the spirit of the holiday – it’s about hope, about love, about believing in the impossible.

With that in mind, here are the “5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

1. When we pull together, wonderful things happen
Any other day, we'd talk about the partisan bickering in Washington, and how it’s at a fever pitch.

But today, let’s focus on how people with good intentions, a whole lotta heart and a can-do attitude can make a world of difference.

Take 8-year-old Laney Brown. She’ll never see Christmas again. Her doctors say leukemia will take her soon. As one of her dying wishes, she wanted some people to come by her house for a night of caroling. And boy, did they! At first it was hundreds of people, then thousands. Then it was 10,000!

2. The best presents aren’t under the Christmas tree
On this Christmas Day, about 150 Marines are standing by to fly into violence-wracked South Sudan to help evacuate Americans. Keep them in your thoughts.

But today, let's talk about military homecomings - those joyful reunions that make you reach for the box of Kleenex (or, if you're old-school, your hanky).

Take Air Force Maj. Jason Wood's middle-school daughter. She thought she was attending a pep rally when out he popped from a giant gift box.

3. Don't be a Grinch
Any other day, we'd tell you about the loud noise that was mistaken for gunshots inside a Long Island mall and triggered a brief lockdown - all apparently due to a clumsy shoplifter. Or the Washington Santa who was out delivering gifts to needy kids - when he was shot with a pellet gun. Or the UPS backlog that may mean missing gifts for you.

But today, let's not be a Grinch. Not even about the commercialization of Christmas, because  some of those commercials are pretty sweet.

By now, you've all seen the genius stunt by Canada's West Jet, where it  asked boarding passengers for their Christmas wishes - and then delivered the gifts at baggage claim. This Apple ad also does a nice job of tugging at ye olde heartstrings. It's about a teen who spends the entire holiday season playing on his iPhone, with a aww-inducing twist at the end.

4. Family comes first – always
We write about heartbreak every day. That's because we get our hearts broken every day by stories such as that of the volunteer firefighter who responded to a fatal car crash last night - only to find the victim was his daughter.

But today, let's focus on the mother who took to Facebook to have her son’s ashes scattered so he could "see the mountains that he never got to climb, see the vast oceans that he would have loved, see tropical beaches and lands far and away" and how strangers from India to Jamaica responded in droves.

Or on the little girl who used  sign language at her Christmas concert so her deaf parents didn't miss a thing.

Or on our very own Ed Payne a regular writer of this blog whose daughter flew home from Tanzania to surprise the family on Christmas Eve. “I picked her up at the airport unbeknownst to Laura and Corynne. I said I was going to work, but I lied. I hope she forgives me.

We’re thinking, Yes!

5. War is over if you want it
A brutal civil war in Syria. A near-genocide in South Sudan. Bloody attacks in Iraq. And on and on.

This Christmas, let’s borrow a page from John Lennon's songbook and save one wish for the world:
A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over, if you want it
War is over now

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Monday, October 14
British police have released computer-generated sketches of a man spotted around the Portuguese resort town on the day Madeleine McCann went missing.
October 14th, 2013
04:29 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Monday, October 14

The word of the day is hope. Hope fulfilled, and hope hanging. There's a break in a two-decade-old cold case. A 72-year-old man survives in the woods for almost three weeks. And there's a glimmer that we could see a resolution to the Washington stalemate.

It's Columbus Day, and here are the “5 Things to Know for Your New Day."
Every weekday morning around 6, we’ll hit the top five stories of the day, clue you in on a few other buzzy items and let you know about some of the must-watch stories coming up on CNN’s morning show, “New Day.”


Brought to you by the numbers 14 and 3: It’s been 14 days since the federal government partially shut down, and three days to go before we hit the debt ceiling. So, where do we stand? Nowhere. The Senate met yesterday afternoon, with Majority Leader Harry Reid saying he would do "everything I can throughout the day" to reach some kind of bargain with Republicans. But after a four-hour powwow, nada. The Senate meets again at 2 today. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says this hoopla has dragged on far too long, but she believes there's going to be a resolution "this week." Hope is a wonderful thing. Hope + action = even better!

In other shutdown news yesterday:

- A crowd of conservatives removed barricades at the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. They billed the event as the "Million Vet March on the Memorials," but drew far fewer. Speakers railed against President Barack Obama, with one telling him to “put the Quran down.”

- The Statue of Liberty is back in business, no thanks to the federal government. New York state decided 12 days of closure was enough for the money-generating landmark. So the state's pouring $61,600 a day to maintain her.

We'll have a team of reporters all morning long to bring us the latest.


Hope springs eternal: Twenty-two years later, she has a name. This weekend, we learned that the little girl known only as "Baby Hope," whose abused and decomposed body was found in an ice chest by the side of a New York roadway in 1991, was 4-year-old Anjelica Castillo. And the man accused of killing her is her cousin, Conrado Juarez. Police say Juarez smothered her with a pillow while sexually assaulting her. Then he "folded the girl in half," tied her and placed her in a garbage bag inside the cooler, an assistant district attorney says. The New York Police Department's cold case unit never gave up on the case. A detective's wife paid for the white dress "Baby Hope" was buried in. And detectives paid for the tombstone. "Because we care," it says.

Margaret Conley will be live in the 8 o’clock hour with details on how police looked into this cold case.


What a long, strange trip: Next time you complain about your GPS lying to you, at least you didn’t end up lost in the woods for 19 days. Gene Penaflor was deep in California's Mendocino National Forest when he got separated from his hunting buddy. That was on September 24. So how did the 72-year-old survive? With an impromptu menu of squirrels, algae, lizards and runoff from a nearby water source. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. But, says Penaflor’s son, the next time his dad goes hunting, it'll have to be in a larger group.


We'll hear from Miguel Marquez at 7 for more on this tale of survival.


Have you seen this man? It's been more than six years since Madeleine McCann vanished while on vacation with her parents in Portugal. But the young British girl’s disappearance is getting renewed attention after investigators released two computer-generated sketches of a man spotted around the Portuguese resort town of Praia da Luz on the day then-3-year-old Madeleine went missing.

Erin McLaughlin will be live from London at 7 on what prompted police to release these sketches now.


Who's your money on? Most of the Nobel wins this year have been pretty predictable – the prize for physics went to the scientists who came up with the idea of the Higgs boson, aka the “God particle.” Short-story writer Alice Munro was a favorite for the literature Nobel and finally got it. And the winners for chemistry and medicine prizes seemed logical. (Malala Yousafzai came up short for the peace prize though). At 7 today, the last of the Nobels will be given out: for economics.

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

- Fifty shades of disbelief: So, an emerging A-list actor has the opportunity to get hot and heavy – and become an instant sex symbol - and he turns it down? Yes, this really happened. Charlie Hunnam was supposed to join Dakota Johnson in the film version of the erotic best-seller "Fifty Shades of Grey." But apparently he's too busy with his TV show, "Sons of Anarchy."

- Brady FTW: We don’t know what we loved most about the Patriots’ miracle 30-27 win over the Saints last night.
The touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Kenbrell Thompskins with five seconds to go?

The one-for-the-ages commentary from 98.5 The Sports Hub. “UNICORNS! SHOW PONIES! WHERE’S THE BEEF?”

Or Tom Brady's post-game outfit, specifically his sweater, which pretty much no one approved of?

Not to be outdone, MLB also gave us a memorable moment during the Red Sox's come-from-behind win over the Detroit Tigers: Boston cop Steve Horgan!

- Why you should pay attention in geometry class: You know how you groused you couldn't think of a single practical application for all those lessons on angles and properties of space? Watch this person try to get out of a parking spot. Then send your high school math teacher a "thank you" e-mail.

- This bear gets it: Props to the animal keeper whose keen instincts led him or her to install a tetherball in the Animal Ark bear enclosure. Like one commenter wrote, "I would pay a 1,000 USD to play tether ball with this bear for my birthday."

- What kind of parents videotape their kids fighting? Um, parents of ridiculously adorable twin girls learning taekwondo.

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 – Thursday, October 10
Kendrick Johnson's body was found in a rolled-up gym mat in January. Authorities say he suffocated trying to retrieve a sneaker. His parents question that. He'd have turned 18 today.
October 10th, 2013
04:39 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Thursday, October 10

Libya's prime minister is kidnapped and released under strange circumstances, we may be spared the debt ceiling debacle, and Kendrick Johnson would have turned 18 today.

It's Thursday, and here are the “5 Things to Know for Your New Day."
Every weekday morning around 6, we’ll hit the top five stories of the day, clue you in on a few other buzzy items, and let you know about some of the must-watch stories coming up on CNN’s morning show, “New Day.”


Light at the end of the tunnel vision: The government’s still partially shut down. House Republicans say they aren’t budging from that. But it looks like we could be spared the debt ceiling debacle. Late last night, GOP sources told us that lawmakers are preparing a proposal to temporarily raise it. And yesterday, President Obama said he would accept a short-term deal. The two sides meet today. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

There’s another bit of good news: The shutdown has meant the Defense Department can’t pay benefits to families of fallen troops. Yesterday, it struck a deal with the Fisher House Foundation to pick up the tab for now. The private charity will dole out the money. The Pentagon will pay it back when the shutdown ends.

Barbara Starr joins us at 6 from the Pentagon. Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is on at 8.


Furlough can you go: Yesterday we told you about the bizarre side effects of the shutdown, but the examples keep piling up:
Three children from the Spirit Lake Tribe will not reconcile with their mom this week because the Bureau of Indian Affairs social worker is on furlough, according to this report. The government paid $47,000 for a mechanical bull for the Utah National Guard. And just days before the shutdown, the State Department awarded a contract to a  glass designer to make stemware for U.S. foreign embassies. The cost? Up to $5 million!
But wait, there’s more!
Two women were slapped with a $275 ticket for hiking in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas. They wonder why the government is paying rangers to keep people out, instead of paying them to let people in:

And since the park service won’t cut the grass in front of the Lincoln Memorial, this South Carolina man decided to do it for them:

Brianna Keilar is live throughout the morning to bring us up to date on the continuing impact.


Left in the cold: It's like a scene from a scriptural parable: Dark carcasses of cows and steers lie motionless in silent clusters across swaths of South Dakota. An early blizzard this week killed as many as 20,000 head of cattle. But ranchers say they're the real victims. This year's federal farm bill got hung up in Congress before the shutdown. There's no money to help the ranchers, and the governor's asking for donations.


Dizzying developments: The prime minister of Libya was kidnapped this morning – or was he? His office says absolutely. But the gunmen who plucked him from a Tripoli hotel say they merely "escorted" him away because he’s been charged with corruption. The justice ministry says there’s no warrant for his arrest. But the interior ministry says the militias work for them. Hours later, he was released, unharmed. Confused? So are officials on the ground.

Nic Robertson will be live from Tripoli to make sense of this complicated situation.


Outrage upon outrage: Kendrick Johnson’s suspicious death at 17 was awful enough for his parents. But imagine how they felt when they discovered that every organ from the teen’s body, from the pelvis to the skull, had been removed - and his body stuffed with newspaper and department store circulars. The explanation for that – like everything else in this case – defies logic for the anguished parents. The parents will talk to the media this morning.


BONUS BIGGIE!! Give a little love, have a little hope: On the show this morning, Anderson Cooper will reveal 10 everyday people who make this world a little better. These 10 CNN Heroes were all nominated by our worldwide audience. Starting today, you’ll be able to vote for your favorite to be CNN Hero of the Year. All of them are doing incredible things in their communities. And being able to shine a spotlight on them is one of the reasons we find our jobs so rewarding. Read about their inspiring work here.

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

- Oops, Awkward!!: Azerbaijan has released the results from its big presidential election. Only hitch? It did so before voting even started. It's kind of hard to explain your way out of this one, President Ilham Aliyev. The government is blaming the app's developer, saying the 2008 election results were accidentally sent out as part of a test. Hmm. That explanation might have worked except it lists candidates for this election, not the one five years ago.

- Flush with excitement: There are people who line their entire bathrooms with gold. Surely, they don’t want an ordinary roll of toilet paper hanging in there. For them, an Australian who calls himself "toilet paper man" has designed a 22-carat gold roll. Interested? It's yours for a cool $1 million. He'll even deliver it in person with champagne in hand.

- This is how DC lawmakers are behaving: Like a bull terrier and a crab having a stare down.

- This is how DC lawmakers should behave: Like a group of ants working together to move a giant nacho chip.

- And finally, your Thursday morning 'aww': This birthday wish from a 2-year-old to her mom is melt-your-heart cute.

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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