Dorothy Abernathy, The Associated Press bureau chief for West Virginia and Virginia, shares the 10 things you need to know today, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items, upcoming events and stories in West Virginia newspapers:
1. ACTIVISTS CLAIM GAS ATTACK IN SYRIA
Pro-opposition groups say “rockets with poisonous gas heads” killed over a hundred people in the suburbs of the nation’s capital.
2. WHY THE US WON’T TAKE ACTION IN SYRIA
A memo obtained by The Associated Press says the Obama administration believes rebels fighting Assad won’t support U.S. interests if they took over.
3. MUBARAK’S BID FOR FREEDOM
A court hearing was set for today to decide whether Egypt’s former president could go free after his life sentence was overturned on appeal.
4. FEARS OF NEWTOWN AT GEORGIA SCHOOL
Parents rushed to an elementary school where an armed gunman exchanged fire with police, but all 800 students were safely evacuated.
5. MANNING TO LEARN FATE
A judge will announce today what sentence the Army private will serve for leaking reams of classified information to WikiLeaks.
6. NIXON’S FINAL HOURS
The last installment of secretly recorded tapes of phone calls between the president on Watergate and Soviet peace talks are going to be released today.
7. FORT HOOD SUSPECT TO PRESENT DEFENSE
But it wasn’t clear whether Army Maj. Nidal Hasan would call any witnesses before a military jury begins deliberating the case.
8. HOW MANY HIGH SCHOOLERS ARE READY FOR COLLEGE
The ACT testing company says just a quarter of this year’s grads have the reading, math, English and science skills they need.
9. THREE TEENS CHARGED IN KILLING OF AUSSIE ATHLETE
In the wake of the random slaying in Oklahoma, Australia’s former deputy prime minister urges a travel boycott to force Congress to act on gun control.
10. HOW ELMORE LEONARD MADE HIS MARK
The author, who died Tuesday at 87, helped do for crime writing what Stephen King did for horror. He made it hip, and he made it respectable.