No deal yet on the government shutdown, Ariel Castro may have died as a result of a sexual act, and the Nobel Peace Prize results are out.
It's Friday, and here are the "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."
1. GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
Deal or no deal?
That's the question as the partial government shutdown enters its 11th day. The good news is, President Obama and House Republicans are now talking. They've been bitterly divided along party lines for weeks, routinely throwing barbs but rarely trading proposals. The other good news is House Republicans offered a plan to temporarily halt a U.S. debt default. The president listened. Both sides agreed to keep on talking. But just because they're talking doesn't mean there's a deal on the debt ceiling, yet. And today, they'll keep talking. Meanwhile, outraged citizens are getting more creative. A new website urges furloughed employees to pass time by drunk-dialing Congress to express dismay about the shutdown.
2. NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
And the winner is ... :
With the announcement, the global spotlight is back on the Syrian conflict. The Nobel Peace Prize committee awarded it to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an international watchdog helping eliminate Syria's stockpiles. The Nobel committee said the award was for the agency's longstanding efforts, and not for work in Syria, but it highlights the risks involved in disarming the nation. Of the hundreds of nominees for the award, Malala Yousafzai was getting the most buzz. She stood up for education, and got shot in the head by the Taliban a year ago. Her wounds were near fatal, but she survived. The militants thought they silenced her, but they amplified her voice worldwide.
How did he die?
As if this story couldn't get any stranger. Ariel Castro became one of America's most notorious criminals in May when police found three sexually abused women hidden in his home for about a decade. We thought the story ended last month when he committed suicide. So did the Ohio medical examiner after she ruled that death a suicide. But now comes a new report that Castro may have died from autoerotic asphyxiation. The report by prison officials says Castro was found dead in his jail with his pants and underwear down. But the medical examiner is not buying it. His pants could have fallen after he hanged himself, she says. "I did the autopsy myself. I saw the ligature. I saw the pictures of the cell. It was a suicide," coroner Paula Gorniak says.
4. GYM MAT DEATH
Could surveillance video answer the questions many are asking about the suspicious death? Kendrick Johnson family attorneys think so. The teen was found dead in a rolled-up gym mat at a southern Georgia high school in January. Authorities say he was suffocated in the mat while looking for a sneaker. His family says he was murdered. And they believe the surveillance video, now being withheld, will tell the true story. "There is one eyewitness that we know is available," attorney Chevene B. King Jr. said yesterday. "For some unknown reason, this tape has been withheld." The teen's relatives are not the only ones searching for answers. Federal authorities are looking into the case, too.
To Russia, with love:
The former U.S. spy agency contractor may have a guest soon. His dad, Lon Snowden, is in Russia, proclaiming his love and hoping for a reunion. He also says his son should win the Nobel Peace Prize. The U.S. doesn't share his sentiment. It calls Edward Snowden a fugitive and wants to have a talk with him about leaking U.S. spy program details to the media. But the younger Snowden is in a secret location, and has been under the radar since he fled to Russia in June. But he reappeared briefly to receive an award from former intelligence leakers.
There you go. All you need to know to get an early start to your morning.