Dorothy Abernathy, The Associated Press bureau chief for West Virginia and Virginia, shares the 10 things you need to know Monday, Dec. 23 2013. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items, upcoming events and stories in West Virginia newspapers:
1. THAI PROTESTERS TRY TO BLOCK ELECTION SIGN-UP
The demonstrators, determined to unseat Thailand’s prime minister, surrounded a Bangkok sports stadium in an unsuccessful attempt to stop political parties from registering for a Feb. 2 vote.
2. UTAH ASKS JUDGE TO BLOCK GAY WEDDINGS
The request comes just days after a federal justice ruled that the state’s same-sex marriage ban violates gay and lesian couples’ rights.
3. WHAT VET’S GROUPS VOW TO FIGHT
Organizations representing the military community say they will challenge plans to halt annual pension increases for armed services retirees.
4. WHO GETS SPRUNG FROM JAIL
Two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot are freed after being locked up for hooliganism following a performance critical of President Putin.
5. WHY US IS JUICIEST TARGET FOR CREDIT CARD HACKERS
Credit and debit cards in America still rely on an easy-to-copy magnetic strip on the back.
6. GLITCH-FILLED ROLLOUT OF `OBAMACARE’ CHOSEN AS YEAR’S TOP NEWS STORY
The runner-up in the annual AP survey is the Boston Marathon bombing.
7. AL-QAIDA’S RARE APOLOGY
The terror group’s Yemen branch says it’s sorry for an unauthorized attack by one of its fighters on a hospital that killed dozens of people.
8. IN SOUTH SUDAN, FEARS OF FULL-BLOWN CIVIL WAR
Fighting between rebels and government troops continues to rage in the world’s newest country.
9. WHERE FILLING UP MAY FINALLY COST SOMETHING
As Venezuela’s economy struggles, the president hints at increases in the price of gas – a commodity that has been nearly free for years.
10. APPLE SEALS DEAL WITH WORLD’S BIGGEST PHONE CARRIER
The pact with China Mobile ends a lengthy courtship between the two companies and could boost sales of the iPhone in China.