5 things to know for your New Day - Tuesday, February 24

A look inside the ISIS stronghold, Raqqa

(CNN)ISIS stronghold paints a scary picture. The battle over Homeland Security funding. And Oscar ratings are less than golden.

It's Tuesday and here are the 5 things to know for your New Day

ISIS STRONGHOLD

Life on the inside: Months ago, ISIS claimed Raqqa in northern Syria as the capital of its so-called caliphate. Now an activist is giving CNN an inside look. The details are harrowing. Airstrikes. Executions. Forced blood donations and marriages to ISIS fighters. Women younger than 45 aren't allowed to leave the city, he says. Neither are foreign fighters. "ISIS takes their passports," the activists says. "if anyone tries defection from this, they will kill them immediately."
     Activist: Most foreigners in Raqqa don't want to fight
     Activist: Most foreigners in Raqqa don't want to fight

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      Activist: Most foreigners in Raqqa don't want to fight

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    Activist: Most foreigners in Raqqa don't want to fight 04:25

    NETANYAHU IRAN

    Different stories: In 2012, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the case that Iran was drawing dangerously close to building a nuclear weapon. A month later and in private, the Israeli spy agency Mossad said the threat wasn't as great as he suggested, according to media reports citing leaked intelligence documents. A senior Israeli official responded to the reports yesterday, denying any contradiction between the two positions. Western powers have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. It's a charge Iran denies.
    Reports: Documents challenge Netanyahu's nuke claim
    Reports: Documents challenge Netanyahu's nuke claim

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      Reports: Documents challenge Netanyahu's nuke claim

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    Reports: Documents challenge Netanyahu's nuke claim 02:33

    HOMELAND SECURITY FUNDING

    New tactics: Congress only has until Friday to sort out the stalemate over funding for the Department of Homeland Security. This is the money that pays for the folks who are supposed to keep us safe from terrorism and other threats. A lot of Republicans don't want to pay for implementation of the President's immigration executive orders and have tied that issue to Homeland Security funding, hoping Democrats will blink. So far, that hasn't happened. It looks like the bill will be split into two parts to allow separate votes on Homeland Security and immigration funding.
    Obama urges funding of Homeland Security
    sot obama dhs funding governers speech_00004725

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      Obama urges funding of Homeland Security

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    Obama urges funding of Homeland Security 01:00

    LAS VEGAS SHOOTING

    New details: The suspect in a deadly Las Vegas shooting feared for his life when he opened fire, this attorney said. Erich Milton Nowsch made his first court appearance yesterday. Nowsch is charged with murder, attempted murder, assault and firing a gun from a car in the February 12 death of Tammy Meyers. The incident was initially reported as a case of road rage that escalated into a shooting. The lawyer for Nowsch now questions whether the incident happened at all and paints his client's response as a case of self defense. Nowsch is scheduled to be back in court on March 10 for a preliminary hearing.
    Attorney: Road rage suspect 'feared for his life'
    erin dnt sidner road rage suspect in court_00000611

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      Attorney: Road rage suspect 'feared for his life'

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    Attorney: Road rage suspect 'feared for his life' 03:20

    OSCARS RATINGS

    Ratings fail: The TV audience for this year's Academy Awards show was the lowest for the broadcast in six years. Let's call it less than Oscar-worthy. More than 36 million people tuned in, but that's a big drop from last year's 43 million viewers. Why did folks tune out? It's hard to say, but most of this year's nominees weren't big box office draws so that doesn't help.
    John Travolta doubles down on his awkward Oscars moment
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      John Travolta doubles down on his awkward Oscars moment

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    John Travolta doubles down on his awkward Oscars moment 02:01

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

    More cowbell: Maple the Dog -- a rather mellow dog we might add -- keeps the beat on this Blue Öyster Cult classic (likely with the help of an unseen human hand).
    That laugh: We're not sure if this little one's giggle is pure fun or pure evil, but you'll never forget it.
    Cuteness: You otter enjoy this video of two pups rescued in Florida.
    Sesame Street satire: Riffing on "House of Cards."