Dorothy Abernathy, The Associated Press bureau chief for West Virginia and Virginia, shares the 10 things you need to know Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items, upcoming events and stories in West Virginia newspapers.
1. U.S, AFGHAN PRESIDENTS TO FINALIZE PLAN FOR AMERICAN TROOP PULLOUT
Ashraf Ghani represents Obama’s last, best hope to make good on his promise to end America’s longest war before leaving office, but the time frame may be slower than first hoped.
2. AL-QAIDA AFFILIATE QUIETLY RISES IN SYRIA
As Islamic State militants get most of the attention with gruesome acts, the Nusra Front becomes a key player in the four-year civil war, compromising other rebel groups the West may try to work with.
3. LAW ALLOWS UTAH TO USE FIRING SQUADS
The governor, in signing the bill, says the state needs a backup execution method in case a shortage of lethal drugs persists.
4. WHERE U.S. COUNTERTERRORISM STRATEGY COLLAPSES
As Yemen descends into chaos and operations against militants are scaled back, an Islamic State offshoot finds a safe haven.
5. INVESTIGATORS FIND NO EVIDENCE OF GANG RAPE AT UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
The police probe follows an article in Rolling Stone magazine that described an attack in graphic detail, but was later discredited.
6. WHAT ECONOMIC CRISIS REVIVES IN VENEZUELA
The battered economy brings back a medical practice rarely seen in developed countries since the 1970s: the radical mastectomy.
7. WHY COMMUTES ARE TURNING NASTY
Finding a job near home is getting harder for millions of American workers. And commuting is especially tough on the poor, blacks and Hispanics.
8. TROUBLE AT AMEX
Changing consumer habits, aggressive competition and increased pushback from its merchants are putting heavy pressure on American Express.
9. ANGELINA JOLIE HAS OVARIES, FALLOPIAN TUBES REMOVED
The actress and filmmaker says in an op-ed in The New York Times that a blood test showed a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, which gave her an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer.
10. GEORGE R.R. MARTIN WON’T LET PRESSURE RUSH HIS WRITING
“Fifty years from now nobody is going to care how frequently the books came out,” says the author of the best-selling series, “A Song of Ice and Fire.”