Dorothy Abernathy, The Associated Press bureau chief for West Virginia and Virginia, shares the 10 things you need to know Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items, upcoming events and stories in West Virginia newspapers:
1. WHAT COULD HAVE CAUSED METRO-NORTH’S DERAILMENT
The train’s engineer experienced a hypnotic-like “daze” and nodded at the controls before the crash, his lawyer says.
2. CONNECTICUT TO RELEASE 911 CALLS FROM NEWTOWN SHOOTING
The tapes of seven landline calls from inside Sandy Hook Elementary School will be released to the media.
3. HEZBOLLAH COMMANDER KILLED IN BEIRUT
The Lebanese militant group accuses Israel of assassinating one of its founding members outside his home.
4. CALM REMAINS ELUSIVE IN UKRAINE
Protesters set up tents across Kiev’s Independence Square and the government shows no sign of yielding.
5. BIDEN BEGINS VISIT TO CHINA AT A TENSE TIME
The vice president plans to raise the issue of Beijing’s newly-declared air defense zone that’s riling Japan and other regional allies.
6. WHY JUDGE’S DETROIT BANKRUPTCY RULING PUTS PENSIONS AT RISK
The city can scrub $18 billion, half of which are linked to retiree and health care obligations, while it restructures its debts.
7. HOW MUCH THE TALLY WAS FOR CYBER MONDAY SALES
Online shoppers set a record, with e-commerce spending rising 18 percent from last year to $1.74 billion.
8. HE PRAYED FOR A MIRACLE — AND GOT ONE
A Nigerian survived three days in an air pocket in an upended boat about 100 feet down in the Atlantic. A video of his dramatic rescue has gone viral on the Internet.
9. CURSE OF POLITICAL UNREST HITS EGYPT’S PHARAONIC TREASURES
The nation’s world-famous antiquities museum is facing riots at its doorstep and financial woes as turmoil continues.
10. BILLY JOEL SETTLING IN AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
The Piano Man says he’ll perform monthly at the famed New York City venue for as long as fans come to see him.