Dorothy Abernathy, The Associated Press bureau chief for West Virginia and Virginia, shares the 10 things you need to know Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items, upcoming events and stories in West Virginia newspapers:
1. `LITTLE EVIDENCE’ NSA PROGRAM PREVENTED TERRORISM
A judge rules the agency’s bulk collection of phone records is likely unconstitutional; an appeal is expected.
2. BIPARTISAN BUDGET DEAL GAINS GROUND
The legislation goes to a crucial Senate test vote today, with lawmakers hopeful it will gain enough GOP support to pass this week.
3. UNITED BEHIND KIM AFTER EXECUTION
Days after a dramatic purge, North Korean officials vow to unite behind Kim Jong Un as he marks the second anniversary of his father’s death.
4. HOW TO DESTROY SYRIA’S CHEMICAL WEAPONS
The international chemical weapons watchdog is meeting today to approve final plans to destroy Syria’s toxic arsenal.
5. WHY UKRAINE IS COURTING BOTH RUSSIA AND THE EU
The struggling country is likely to need a $10 billion bailout; today its leader holds talks with Russia’s President Putin.
6. WINTER WILDFIRE HITS BIG SUR
At least 15 homes are destroyed in an unseasonal wildfire as California suffers its driest year on record.
7. VEGETABLES BEAT VITAMINS IN TWO NEW STUDIES
A healthy diet and exercise do more to prevent chronic disease than popping a multivitamin pill, according to the latest research.
8. COULD MEGA MILLIONS REACH A BILLION DOLLARS
The U.S. lottery jackpot will set that record if no-one picks the winning numbers before Christmas Eve. Tonight’s draw is worth $586m.
9. WHO IS HEADED TO THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME
Nirvana, Kiss, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens will be honored at an induction ceremony next April.
10. SHOPPERS SNAP MORE THAN A BARGAIN
Surprisingly, a Bangkok shopping mall is the most Instagrammed location of the year – beating holiday hotspots Times Square and Disneyland.