Dorothy Abernathy, The Associated Press bureau chief for West Virginia and Virginia, shares the 10 things you need to know Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items, upcoming events and stories in West Virginia newspapers:
1. RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS SAY YASSER ARAFAT DIED OF NATURAL CAUSES
They say there is no indication that the Palestinian leader was poisoned by radioactive polonium.
2. WHY JAPAN LEADER’S WORLD WAR II SHRINE VISIT IRKS ASIAN NEIGHBORS
China and South Korea say it glorifies Japan’s militaristic past.
3. SILENT NIGHT, DARK NIGHT FOR SOME IN U.S., CANADA
Thousands of people left without electricity due to ice storms might not get power restored until Friday.
4. ANNIVERSARY OF MAO’S BIRTHDAY MARKED IN CHINA
Communist Party leaders pay tribute to Mao Zedong, and censors work to remove criticism of him from social media.
5. HOW AMERICANS ARE FEELING ABOUT 2013
A new AP poll indicates that 46 percent of respondents feel 2013 was about the same for them as 2012, 20 percent say it was worse, and 32 percent say it was better.
6. ABDUCTED DEVELOPMENT WORKER’S PLEA FOR HELP
Warren Weinstein, the elderly American kidnapped from Pakistan in 2011, has appeared in a new video asking President Obama to negotiate his release.
7. WHICH ETHNIC TRADITIONS AMONG MYANMAR’S TRIBES ARE DISAPPEARING
As Myanmar opens up after decades of military rule, tribes like the Chin and Maun give up customs like facial tattooing and use of tribal dialects.
8. WHAT REPUBLICANS AGREE ON ABOUT THE HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL’S POTENTIAL
The GOP wants to use the overhaul’s bumpy trajectory as leverage in 2014 midterm elections, but can’t agree on a strategy for opposing it.
9. SENEGAL CHILD BEGGARS EXPLOITED BY TEACHERS
Authorities have yet to arrest anyone months after a fire killed eight children crammed into a room where they were living as Islamic religious pupils often forced to beg.
10. WHO IS TRYING TO BROKER PEACE IN SOUTH SUDAN
The presidents of Kenya and Ethiopia will meet with South Sudan’s president, hoping to mediate an increasingly deadly conflict.