Dorothy Abernathy, regional media director of The Associated Press, shares 10 things you need to know Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items and much more in West Virginia newspapers.
1. PEOPLE WORLD OVER ON EDGE AS CALENDAR TURNS
As the final hours of 2015 draw to a close, many bid a weary and wary adieu to a year marred by attacks that left nations reeling and nerves rattled.
2. MOTHER OF ‘AFFLUENZA’ TEEN BACK IN US AFTER DEPORTATION
Ethan Couch remains in Mexico after a judge grants a delay allowing the 18-year-old to argue that kicking him out of the country would violate his rights.
3. BILL COSBY’S DEFENDERS GROWING FAINTER
Sexual assault allegations against the comedian have left many — especially in the black community — feeling betrayed.
4. WHERE HISTORIC RAINS ARE SWELLING RIVERS, STREAMS
The three-day rainfall totals of 9 to 11 inches in parts of Missouri represent a deluge occurring only every 100 to 300 years, NOAA says.
5. RARE LOOK AT LIFE BEHIND BARS
The AP is granted access to — and given permission to photograph inside — a Georgia state prison, including its death row.
6. CHINA BUILDING SECOND AIRCRAFT CARRIER
The project is part of the country’s rapid naval modernization, seen as aimed at asserting Beijing’s maritime claims and extending its power far from its shores.
7. WHICH ICONIC STORE IS CLOSING
The massive Toys R Us superstore in Times Square, which wowed shoppers with a 60-foot indoor Ferris wheel among other treasures, is shutting down.
8. ‘SO’ SCHOOL LISTS TERMS IT WANTS TO BAN
The annual compilation by a Michigan university includes starting a sentence with the word “So,” ”presser” instead of press conference, “problematic,” ”walk it back” and “break the Internet.”
9. WHO’S HELPING EMPOWER MUSLIM WOMEN
A woman who was accosted as a girl by a man who tried to tear off her head scarf has turned her anger into a program based in New York City that teaches self-defense to young Muslim women.
10. DOWN TO FINAL FOUR IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Top-ranked Clemson takes on Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, while Alabama faces Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl.