U.S. Navy ships arrive in the Philippines, same-sex marriage is legal for more than a third of Americans and Blockbuster video rentals end with a tweet.
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 and clue you in on a few other buzzy items.
1. TYPHOON TRAGEDY
Help sails in:
Much-needed relief arrived in the Philippines today as U.S. Navy ships sailed in, carrying aid to help hundreds of thousands who have gone without food and clean water for nearly a week. Among them are the USS George Washington, which has 80 aircraft and 5,000 sailors to distribute food, water and medicine. Shore leave was cut short for the mission. Travel remains difficult and, at times, dangerous, making it hard for supplies to get to those who need them. The official death toll from Typhoon Haiyan is now up to 2,357. More than 3,800 are injured and about 77 are still missing.
2. OBAMACARE WOES
Malo, pas bien, schlecht:
How many different ways can you say bad? These are difficult days for the White House. Each new day seems to bring more bad news about Obamacare. A testy congressional hearing, Democratic bickering behind the scenes and less than sparkling sign-up numbers through HealthCare.gov. The October tally is 106,000 people. It's a fair number of folks, but millions are expected to sign up. The most pressing political challenge for House Democrats comes tomorrow when they'll have to vote on a Republican plan that allows people to keep their policies if they want to. It's a tough rub for Democrats to go with the GOP. But it was President Obama who told everyone: "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan." So far, it hasn't worked out that way.
3. TSA PROFILING
How to spot a terrorist:
When you spend $900 million on something, you'd like to think you got something in return. Not so, says the Government Accountability Office. It audited TSA program that was supposed to teach agents how to spot terrorists by observing passenger behavior. According to the GAO, the program has yet to prove itself and isn't based on proven methods. The TSA disagrees, saying its behavior detection officers are a "vital component" in its security program. TSA Administrator John Pistole testifies before a House subcommittee today.
4. TORONTO MAYOR
All fired up:
The Toronto City Council can't kick Mayor Rob Ford out of office, but they would if they could. The council voted yesterday, asking him to take a leave of absence. Call it a friendly suggestion. Ford says he's not going anywhere. The allegations continue to pile up against him. Ford's already admitted to smoking crack and drinking too much. A 500-page court report adds fuel to the fire, alleging a pattern of drug use, and erratic and sometimes abusive behavior by the mayor. Oh yes, one other thing: Ford says he's purchased illegal drugs within the past two years, while he was in office. At least he's paying his way.
5. SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
Things are changing fast when it comes to same-sex marriage. More than a third of Americans now live in states where it is now legal. Hawaii and Illinois became the latest states this week. In all, same-sex marriage is legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia. It's banned in the other states, except New Mexico, which has no state law either way. Support for same-sex marriage has doubled in less than 20 years.
Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a few others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.
This is the end:
The Blockbuster era is over. In Hawaii over the weekend, the former video giant rented its final DVD. Appropriately enough, it was the comedy "This is the End." Anyone feeling a bit misty eyed? We didn't think so. Blockbuster tweeted the event. Hang loose, video bros.
In a hole lot of trouble:
A Florida man picked the wrong way to get discount donuts. Here's his M.O. Charles "Chuck" Berry would pull up to the New Port Richey Dunkin' Donuts, allegedly flash a gun and a badge, and demand his discount. The manager got suspicious and called authorities. Don't people know some things are sacred? There are some things you just don't mess with.
A new point of Veuve?:
Oh, those clever champagne makers. The folks at Veuve Clicquot are out with new packaging that transforms into its own waterproof ice bucket. Now we're truly ready for the holidays. Cheers!