Dorothy Abernathy, The Associated Press bureau chief for West Virginia and Virginia, shares the 10 things you need to know Monday, Dec. 8, 2013. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items, upcoming events and stories in West Virginia newspapers:
1. SOUTH AFRICA’S EXTENDED FAREWELL TO MANDELA
As world leaders, including President Barack Obama, begin to arrive for a service in Johannesburg on Tuesday, the civil-rights campaigner’s life is being memorialized across the country and world.
2. THE STORM THAT WON’T END
Snow, freezing rain and sleet forced the cancellation of thousands of flights nationwide and threatens a messy morning commute for those across the northeast corridor.
3. SENATE DEMOCRATS PUSH OBAMA NOMINEES
Democrats are ready to muscle through the president’s choices for pivotal judgeships and other top jobs, but Republicans retain enough power to slow the appointments.
4. THAI GOVERNMENT CALLS FOR EARLY ELECTIONS
Thailand’s prime minister announces she will dissolve the lower house of Parliament and asks for early voting in an attempt to calm the country’s deepening political crisis.
5. US DEFENSE SECRETARY TRAVELS TO PAKISTAN
Chuck Hagel arrived early today for meetings with the nation’s prime minister and military leaders, hoping to further repair a strained relationship between Washington and Islamabad.
6. RIOT POLICE DEPLOY IN UKRAINE
A day after massive protests, authorities in full riot gear move into the center of Kiev where opposition activists have been occupying a city administration building and a central square.
7. WHY KIM JONG UN’S UNCLE IS OUT
North Korea acknowledges that it has purged the country’s second most powerful official, accusing him of corruption, drug use, womanizing and leading a “dissolute and depraved life.”
8. NEWLYWED MURDER TRIAL BEGINS
A 22-year-old woman accused of killing her new husband, who fell to his death on a cliff in Montana’s Glacier National Park, faces charges in federal court.
9. WHAT INSECT IS NEW TO NEW YORK
A cockroach that can withstand harsh winter cold makes its U.S. debut on the streets Manhattan.
10. KENNEDY HONORS FOR BILLY JOEL, SANTANA
Jazz legend Herbie Hancock, opera star Martina Arroyo and actress Shirley MacLaine also receive the nation’s highest award for arts and culture.