The regional bureau of The Associated Press, shares 10 things you need to know Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items and much more in West Virginia newspapers.
1. US SENATE PASSES BIG TAX BILL
Jubilant Republicans pushed their deeply unpopular tax overhaul through the Senate, bringing the most sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax laws in more than three decades to the brink of passage.
2. WHY SWEEPING TAX PLAN FACES WIDESPREAD DOUBTS
Democrats and most nonpartisan analysts say the sweeping tax bill is unlikely to provide much lasting stimulus to an economy already in the ninth year of expansion.
3. WHICH SYMBOL OF THE CHURCH ABUSE CRISIS DIED
Cardinal Bernard Law, the disgraced former archbishop of Boston whose failures to stop child molesters in the priesthood sparked what would become the worst crisis in American Catholicism, died at 86.
4. NEW BLOW FOR UBER AS TOP EU COURT SAYS IT’S A TAXI COMPANY
The decision that could change the way it functions across the continent.
5. HOW MANY NON-COMBATANTS DIED IN BATTLE WITH IS GROUP FOR MOSUL
The battle to drive Islamic State group extremists from their largest urban stronghold, Mosul, killed far more civilians than has previously been reported — between 9,000 and 10,000 people, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of databases from independent monitors and the city’s morgue.
6. PULP GIANT TIED TO COMPANIES ACCUSED OF FIRES
Despite its denials, one of the world’s biggest paper producers has extensive behind-the-scenes ties and significant influence over wood suppliers linked to fires and deforestation that have degraded Indonesia’s stunning natural environment, The Associated Press has found.
7. HOW TECHNOLOGY COULD’VE PREVENT AMTRAK CRASH
The rush to launch service on a new, faster Amtrak route near Seattle came at a deadly cost — critical speed-control technology that could have prevented a derailment was not active before the train set off on its maiden voyage.
8. HOW TRUMP’S JERUSALEM MOVE IS PLAYING OUT IN BETHLEHEM
President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has hit Christmas festivities this year in the traditional birthplace of Jesus, but Palestinians plan to use the annual spotlight to broadcast their own message to the world.
9. A JUDGE DISMISSED ONE OF THE LAST MICHAEL JACKSON SUITS
The dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a choreographer who said Michael Jackson molested him as a child, resolving one of the last lawsuits against the entertainer.
10. WHERE ANIMALS WERE ABANDONED AFTER A HURRICAN STRUCK
In Puerto Rico, pets have been tossed over fences, tied to gates and even left with a $20 bill under their collar — abandoned animals are overwhelming the island’s shelters in the wake of Hurricane Maria as people leave the island or find they can no longer cope with pets amid the hardship.