CNN — (CNN) -- Welcome to the Friday edition of "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."
It's gonna get worse:
Yes, it's winter. And yes, it's cold. But this is different. Mercury will plummet, 20-year records will shatter and nearly half the nation will shudder in zero or below temperatures. But wait ... there's more. If you're traveling, be ready to sit at the airport. More than 2,000 flights have been canceled today, a flight tracking website says. In the Midwest, schools, churches and some businesses shuttered their windows. Experts are referring to the rotating pool of cold, dense air as a "polar vortex." We're not that fancy. It's just a big, bad, deep freeze to us.
2. LIZ CHENEY
Senate run, no more:
Liz Cheney's bid for a Senate seat in Wyoming started off on a rocky note. Republicans -- and her own family -- were not amused by her surprise announcement last summer. Her public dispute with her lesbian sister, Mary Cheney, over same-sex marriage didn't help her image, either. Sources now say Liz Cheney is dropping out of the race. The oldest daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney could make an official announcement today. Her dad represented the state in Congress for five terms before moving up the food chain.
3. JAHI McMATH
In her mother's care:
In the latest twist to this heartbreaking story, Jahi McMath was released to her mother yesterday. Doctors in California declared the 13-year-old brain dead after tonsil surgery last month. She's been on a ventilator since then. A fierce court battle unfolded between devastated relatives fighting to keep her on the ventilator and doctors arguing that she's already dead. But her family is not giving up on her. Yesterday, a coroner handed her over to her mother, Latasha Winkfield. Though her destination was not disclosed, a New York facility says it's ready to care for her.
4. FLU SEASON
In full swing:
This year's flu season just keeps going, and going. The number of states reporting widespread flu activity has skyrocketed to 25. And the atypical thing is this year's most common strain is H1N1. If that sounds familiar, it's the same virus that caused the 2009 swine flu outbreak. Folks in the South should especially be careful. The most severe activity is in those states.
5. DENNIS RODMAN
More "basketball diplomacy":
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is an avid basketball fan. And what a ruthless leader wants, he gets. For Kim's 31st birthday, basketball star Dennis Rodman is headed to the secretive nation with a bunch of NBA old timers to play a game in his honor Wednesday. Never mind that the unpredictable young leader had his uncle and a close aide executed not too long ago. Rodman has pressed on with the plan. The former NBA player won't let international condemnation of the country's human rights record come between him and his buddy. He's told Kim he has "a friend for life." Well, let's just say this is "diplomacy" with no diplomatic support whatsoever.
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