Dorothy Abernathy, regional media director of The Associated Press, shares 10 things you need to know Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items and much more in West Virginia newspapers.
1. DIVIDED US REACTS TO NEW TRANSGENDER POLICY
Conservatives praise the Trump administration’s rollback of public school bathroom requirements for transgender students, while transgender rights advocates vow to overcome a major setback.
2. UNEASE HANGS OVER MEXICO DIPLOMACY
Resentment over the proposed border wall and immigration crackdown in the U.S. threatens to sour a meeting between Mexico’s president and Trump’s chiefs of diplomacy and homeland security.
3. IRAQIS ADVANCE IN FIGHT TO DRIVE MILITANTS FROM MOSUL
Iraqi forces enter Mosul International Airport and take over the runway amid fierce clashes with Islamic State militants in the country’s second-largest city.
4. WHERE PYONGYANG’S PR MACHINE SPUTTERS
North Korea exerts total control over its message at home. Abroad, in cases like the Malaysia killing of leader Kim Jong Un’s half brother, not so much.
5. SYRIA PEACE TALKS CONVENING
Hanging over government and opposition envoys is whether the “Geneva IV” talks will be just another sequel to chronically fruitless negotiations.
6. LOST HOPE: HOW FAR VENEZUELA HAS FALLEN
The economy is so crippled that tens of thousands are going hungry or even starving and the average shopper spends 35 hours a month waiting in line, while the murder rate is among the highest in the world.
7. OIL INDUSTRY AWAITS OPPORTUNITY IN FAR NORTH
Petroleum drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was not a consideration under President Barack Obama but it’s getting renewed attention under the new administration.
8. WHAT SCIENTISTS ARE BUZZING ABOUT
Astronomers discover seven Earth-size planets orbiting a single nearby star — and these new worlds could hold life.
9. ALL EYES ON BAO BAO AFTER 16-HOUR FLIGHT
The panda, born at the National Zoo in Washington, starts settling into her new home in southwest China where she will eventually join a breeding program.
10. WHY PROF IS KNOWN AS ‘FATHER OF THE SELFIE’
Every day for three decades, long before they were called selfies, Boston College’s Karl Baden snapped a photo of himself to document the aging process.