Dorothy Abernathy, The Associated Press bureau chief for West Virginia and Virginia, shares the 10 things you need to know Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items, upcoming events and stories in West Virginia newspapers:
1. WILL OBAMA REIN IN NSA SPYING
A White House report says phone snooping should be limited, but the President doesn’t have to act on it.
2. SENATE DEAL ON GUANTANAMO TRANSFERS
Up to half the 160 terror suspects held there could be sent home under a bill likely to pass the Senate today.
3. U.S. EXECUTIONS NEAR 20-YEAR LOW
High-profile legal mistakes and a shortage of lethal drugs may be behind the decline, with only 39 inmates executed this year.
4. INDIAN DIPLOMAT IN ‘BLACKMAIL’ CLAIM
The latest twist in the diplomatic row: Indian officials say their New York deputy consul had accused her maid of blackmail.
5. WHO IS VISITING THE HERMIT KINDGOM
Days after a deadly leadership purge, Dennis Rodman flies into Pyongyang to meet Kim Jong Un and train the national basketball team.
6. OBAMA’S LATE FATHER ‘WAS ABUSIVE’
President’s China-based half-brother details domestic abuse claims in his new autobiography.
7. WHY WOMEN ARE LEADING ISLAMIC PROTESTS IN CAIRO
A crackdown by Egypt’s new rulers has forced many male members of the Muslim Brotherhood into hiding.
8. WHAT NEW GUIDELINES MEAN FOR PEOPLE WITH HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Many older adults may not need to take as many pills for the condition, an expert panel concludes.
9. WHERE IS THE MYSTERY MILLIONAIRE
Georgia’s Ira Curry will collect half the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot, but the California winner is yet to come forward.
10. GAY SLURS SINK ‘DUCK DYNASTY’ STAR
Patriarch Phil Robertson is off the reality show after slamming homosexuals as sinners in a magazine interview.