Dorothy Abernathy, The Associated Press bureau chief for West Virginia and Virginia, shares the 10 things you need to know Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items, upcoming events and stories in West Virginia newspapers:
1. AP REVEALS MISSING AMERICAN BACKSTORY
Robert Levinson, who vanished seven years ago in Iran, was working for the CIA on an unapproved spy mission, an AP investigation finds. It’s a secret the U.S. has long sought to keep.
2. KIM JONG UN’S UNCLE PUT TO DEATH
North Korea’s stunning announcement comes just days after Jang Song Thaek – long considered the country’s No. 2 in power – was charged with corruption and removed from all his posts.
3. EVEN MOST GOP LAWMAKERS BACK BUDGET DEAL IN HOUSE
Lopsided majorities of Republicans and Democrats alike vote in favor of the legislation, which now goes to the Senate.
4. UN INSPECTORS CONFIRM SYRIA CHEMICAL WEAPONS
A report from the United Nations says they were probably used in four locations in the country this year, in addition to the confirmed attack near Damascus in August.
5. WOMEN SEE PROGESS A YEAR AFTER INDIA SEXUAL ASSAULT
Established in the wake of a horrific gang rape and murder of a young New Delhi woman, a government hotline is part of a wave of positive change in the country.
6. WHO’S STILL ON THE LOOSE – DESPITE WORLDWIDE ALERT
Briton Samantha Lewthwaite, a suspected terrorist known as the “white widow,” somehow eludes authorities, even as she has traveled through Africa with four small children.
7. MONTANA NEWLYWED PLEADS GUILTY
The surprise agreement with prosecutors came just before closing arguments in the trial of Jordan Graham, 22, who admitted to pushing her husband of eight days off a cliff.
8. WHY MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOTS ARE SWELLING
Officials have significantly lowered the odds of winning the multi-state lottery – thereby increasing the chances of each jackpot rolling over.
9. OPERATION SANTA CLAUS BRINGS CHRISTMAS TO ALASKA
Thanks to a volunteer program coordinated by the National Guard, children in a remote Alaska village met Kris Kringle, a rare event for the children there.
10. CHARGERS STILL IN PLAYOFF HUNT
Philip Rivers throws two touchdown passes and San Diego dominates time of possession to stun Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 27-20.