Dorothy Abernathy, The Associated Press bureau chief for West Virginia and Virginia, shares 10 takeaway stories from the past week. Look for in-depth stories in West Virginia newspapers:
1. DEMOCRATS IN SENATE VOTE TO CURB FILIBUSTERS ON NON-SUPREME COURT NOMINEES
The action swept aside a century of precedent and cleared the way for speedy confirmation of presidential appointments. Majority Leader Harry Reid called it a blow against gridlock, while Republicans warned Democrats will eventually regret their action once political fortunes are reversed.
2. SUICIDE BOMBINGS AT IRANIAN EMBASSY IN BEIRUT KILL 23
The two blasts in a Shiite district was seen as an attack on Iran and Hezbollah – both supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad – and pulled Lebanon further into a conflict that has torn apart the deeply divided country.
3. NATION MARKS 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF KENNEDY ASSASSINATION ON NOV. 22, 1963
Jean Kennedy Smith, 85, the last surviving Kennedy sibling, laid a wreath at her brother’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery, joined by about 10 members of her family. Earlier in the week, JFK’s daughter, Caroline, presented her credentials as U.S. ambassador to Japan.
4. JPMORGAN CHASE, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REACH $13 BILLION DEAL ON MORTGAGE BONDS
Along with paying the largest settlement, the bank acknowledged it misled investors about the quality of risky mortgage-backed securities ahead of the 2008 financial crisis.
5. AT LEAST 50 KILLED IN ROOF COLLAPSE AT SUPERMARKET IN CAPITAL OF LATVIA
The store in Riga was filled with shoppers when one section of the roof caved in, followed about two hours later by another collapse as rescuers searched for survivors. It was the biggest tragedy for the Baltic nation since it regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
6. TORONTO’S CITY COUNCIL REINS IN MAYOR ROB FORD
The council slashed Ford’s office budget by 60 percent, although he retains his title and ability to represent the city at official functions. Ford has admitted to smoking crack cocaine in a “drunken stupor.”
7. UNUSUALLY POWERFUL LATE-SEASON TORNADOES STRIKE MIDWEST
The twisters and thunderstorms howled across 12 states, killing eight people. Hit hard was the southern Illinois town of Washington, where a tornado peaked at 190 mph and stayed on the ground for 46 miles.
8. “SELFIE” IS DEEMED THE WORD OF THE YEAR BY OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
The shorthand for taking a photo of yourself gained widespread usage in 2013 and beat out other buzzwords such as “twerk,” the sexually provocative dance; “Bitcoin,” the digital currency, and “showrooming,” the practice of visiting a store to see a product before buying it more cheaply online.
9. NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR DORIS LESSING DEAD AT 94
The independent and often irascible writer became an icon of the women’s movement with her 1962 novel “The Golden Notebook,” but she also explored topics such as colonial Africa, dystopian Britain and the unknown worlds of science fiction.
10. MAGNUS CARLSEN, HAILED AS “JUSTIN BIEBER OF CHESS,” WINS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
The 22-year-old Norwegian, who has been listed as one of the world’s sexiest men and has done fashion shoots, became the first Western player since Bobby Fischer to hold the title. Carlsen defeated defending champion Viswanathan Anand of India.