Dorothy Abernathy, The Associated Press bureau chief for West Virginia and Virginia, shares the 10 things you need to know Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items, upcoming events and stories in West Virginia newspapers:
1. OFFICIALS INSIST OLYMPIC GAMES WILL BE SAFE
They say that while Sochi is a high-profile terror target, it will also be one of the best-protected venues in the world come February.
2. HOW AMERICANS ARE FEELING ABOUT THE YEAR AHEAD
About half of Americans expect 2014 to be better than 2013, but few people feel the U.S. has found the right path, according to an AP-Gfk poll.
3. FAMILY VOWS TO SUE TO KEEP DAUGHTER ON LIFE SUPPORT
A 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy in California will remain on a breathing machine as legal battles continue.
4. WHY MICHAEL SCHUMACHER’S SKI ACCIDENT SEEMED SO FREAKISH
The auto racing legend “gave the image of someone indestructible, powerful,” fellow F1 star Alain Prost says. “It’s a banal accident compared to what he’s done in the past.”
5. IN ISRAEL, ANGER OVER FREEING OF PALESTINIANS
The release of more than two dozen inmates is part of a U.S.-brokered package to restart Mideast peace talks.
6. WHO’S REPLACING NYC MAYOR AT THE TIMES SQUARE BALL DROP
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a city native, will lead the final 60-second countdown to 2014, while Michael Bloomberg spends time with family and friends.
7. RESIDENTS NEAR FIERY NORTH DAKOTA DERAILMENT URGED TO EVACUATE
Authorities say a shift in weather could blow potentially hazardous smoke into their area.
8. TOPS IN TECH TOUGHER TO TELL
The AP’s Anick Jesdanun says competition has gotten so intense that one brand rarely stands out anymore in any tech product category.
9. WORDS BETTER LEFT UNSAID
“Selfie” and “twerk” top a Michigan university’s annual list of annoying words, with “Mr. Mom” and “hashtag” also strong contenders.
10. NFL COACHING CAROUSEL SPINS
With the regular season barely concluded, five head coaches are already unemployed.