Dorothy Abernathy, The Associated Press bureau chief for West Virginia and Virginia, shares the 10 things you need to know Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items, upcoming events and stories in West Virginia newspapers.
1. WHAT IRAN IS SAYING ABOUT ASSAD’S FUTURE
Iranian President Rouhani calls for free and fair elections in Syria, saying it would respect any outcome.
2. HOW VIRGINIA IS VIEWING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
The attorney general concludes that the state’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional and will no longer defend it in federal lawsuits challenging it.
3. COMPROMISE DOUBTFUL IN UKRAINE
Thick black smoke from burning tires engulfs Kiev as an ultimatum issued by the opposition to the president to call early election or face street rage was set to expire.
4. TEXAS EXECUTES MAN DESPITE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION
A Mexican national is executed for killing a Houston police officer despite pleas and diplomatic pressure from the Mexican government and the U.S. State Department.
5. POLL: NICE GUY, SO-SO PRESIDENT
A new AP poll finds that less than a third of Americans consider Obama to be an above-average commander in chief, but nearly twice as many find him likable.
6. DIVIDED PANEL TO REVEAL NSA SPY RECOMMENDATIONS
The changes to the government’s surveillance programs seek to satisfy legal, privacy and civil liberties concerns.
7. POLL FINDS DROP IN UNINSURED RATE
The nation’s uninsured rate drops modestly in January as the major coverage expansion under Obama’s health care law got underway, a survey finds.
8. WHAT HIT SHOW IN U.K. IS STIRRING DEBATE
“Benefits Street,” reality TV for austerity times, is a smash hit featuring welfare recipients, but it’s creating controversy in Britain.
9. HOW SESAME STREET HOPES TO IMPROVE KIDS’ NUTRITION
A three-year experiment in South America suggests better eating habits displayed by Bert and Ernie and Cookie Monster have had a positive effect.
10. HOW SHERMAN FEELS ABOUT PUBLIC OUTCRY
The Seattle Seahawks’ All-Pro cornerback says he was “surprised” by the negative reaction his postgame rant received on social media and the airwaves.