5 Things to Know for Your New Day -- Tuesday, September 3

5 Things to Know for Your New Day -- Tuesday, September 3
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 7:31am

The White House continues to make its case for a Syria strike; the Fukushima fallout just keeps getting worse, and Rodman's back in North Korea.

It's Tuesday, and here are "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 new morning show, "New Day."

1. Syria civil war

Tick tock tick talk: Congress goes back in session September 9. Which means the White House has the rest of this week to talk lawmakers into green-lighting an attack on Syria. The maneuverings began over the weekend, when President Barack Obama asked Congress to approve the attack, saying it's the right thing to do after the regime allegedly used chemical weapons. Obama said he doesn't need Congress' blessing -- but he'd like it. Lawmakers, in turn, are saying: Convince us.

Meanwhile, there's more bad news out of Syria. This morning, the U.N. refugee agency offered up this grim stat: The number of Syrians who've fled the country has now risen above 2 million. Put another way, every 15 seconds, a Syrian becomes a refugee.

2. Diana Nyad

If at first you don't succeed ...: Try, try, try, try, try again. If she hadn't made it this time -- her fifth try -- Diana Nyad was ready to hang up her goggles. She vomited from salt water. She shivered. She sang lullabies to calm herself down. But she made it to Key West from Cuba. 103 miles. Good thing, because she was not going to put herself through the kind of torture ever again. "I never knew I would suffer the way I did," she told Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

3. Surveillance fallout

I spy with the eye in the sky: The electronic surveillance scandal just doesn't seem to quit. Microsoft and Google seem to have forced the U.S. government's hand on transparency. The U.S. may release more info on the controversial electronic surveillance programs today, trying to beat the tech giants who're thinking of releasing info of their own. Meanwhile, add Brazil and Mexico to the 'We're not gonna take it' club, after media reports that the U.S. spied on their presidents.

4. Fukushima radiation

Drip, drip, drip of bad news: The Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown two years ago ruined a lot, including the power company that runs it. Japanese taxpayers had to bail TEPCO out. And now they'll have to fork over $470 million to take care of the radioactive mess that the company's been unable to. Look for some folks to be seriously upset about this.

5. Rodman in North Korea

Do me a solid, Kim. Or don't: North Korea's dictator seems to have a thing for former basketball superstar Dennis Rodman. That may be a stroke of luck for imprisoned American Kenneth Bae. Or not. Rodman's in Pyongyang today. Will he dare to bring up Bae? This is Rodman last week to the Huffington Post: "I will definitely ask for Kenneth Bae's release. I will say, 'Marshal, why is this guy held hostage?'" This is Rodman yesterday to Reuters: "I'm not going to North Korea to discuss freeing Kenneth Bae. I've come out here to see my friend (Kim) - and I want to talk about basketball."

CNN's Dorrine Mendoza contributed to this report

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By CNN Staff

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