5 things you need to know for your new day

CNN
Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 9:00am

 Every weekday morning, we'll hit the top five stories of the day and clue you in on a few other buzzy items.

1. SCHOOL SHOOTING HERO

She's never been so scared in all her life. We don't blame her. Faced with a gunman who had an AK-47 and told her he had mental issues, Antoinette Tuff acted calmly and is the reason no one was killed this week at an Atlanta area elementary school.

As we learn more about the man with the gun, we are in awe of Tuff, who acted as a go-between on the phone for the shooter and police.

"We not going to hate you, baby," she tells the suspect near the end of the call. "It's a good thing that you're not giving up, so we're not going to hate you." We do love you, Antoinette.

2. MIDDLE EAST

Major decisions ahead:

The deadly violence in Egypt and Syria puts the White House under pressure. What should it do with aid to the Egyptian military, which has continued to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood and protesters in the streets?

And what about help for the Syrians fighting to overthrow the Assad government, where accusations are flying after social media was flooded with reports of a chemical attack?

A chief problem has been identifying those rebels the United States would happily deal with versus elements said to be militants, including some with ties to al Qaeda.

"We've got some work to do in both of these areas, and this is something that we're actively working on," a White House spokesman says.

3. SAN DIEGO MAYOR

Will he stay or will he go?

On Friday afternoon, the city council meets in private, and atop the agenda will be a discussion of a settlement reached between Mayor Bob Filner and San Diego.

A lawyer for the city says the two sides have reached a deal, but if the mayor is out, San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith isn't saying. Neither is Filner's attorney.

And since it was a new day, yet another woman -- No. 18 -- accused the mayor of bad behavior.

4. EXCHANGE STUDENT KILLED

It could have been anyone:

Sarah Harper and Chris Lane had been back in the United States for only a couple of days from his homeland of Australia when her boyfriend was shot and killed.

She told Anderson Cooper that Lane, whom she had dated for four years, loved to travel and he had big dreams of living in a foreign land after he graduated. She is still stunned by his death.

"You can't make sense of it," she said. "It just is so surreal that anybody could do something like this."

Police say one of the three teens arrested in the case told them the boys picked the victim at random.

5. SHARK VICTIM DIES

She "fought hard to stay alive:"

She was celebrating with a vacation in Hawaii after a year working as an au pair. Her family remembered her as strong and forever laughing. Jana Lutteropp died yesterday, a week after a shark tore her right arm off.

The company the 20-year-old worked for said her family had come from Germany and was with her when she passed.

Shark experts are saying attacks are up across the world this year -- and this was the fourth near Maui since February -- but it's very rare for someone to die.

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

If a tree sinks in a forest:

You hope there's a man with a video camera to record it. A parish official in Louisiana captured an amazing video of half a dozen cypress trees being swallowed by a sinkhole. According to the Advocate, the hole has been growing since early this month.

The only good hangover is a movie:

Oh, the morning after a few too many beers. Sucks to be you. But what if hangovers were a thing of the past? Fret not; researchers in Australia are hard at work on a solution. Electrolytes are the key, says researcher Ben Desbrow.

Call your phone:

If I ever lose my phone, I hope these kids in Ontario find it. Some skateboarders saw the lost phone, left behind by a friend Kim Ho. She writes on her blog that the boys who posted a video to her friend's Instagram account telling him to call his phone are "brilliant." We do too.

There you go. All you need to know to get an early start to your morning.

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