Good morning: 15+ things to know for Thursday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. WHAT WOMEN ON THE FRONT LINE CAN'T DO: The Pentagon will lift a ban Thursday for women in combat, but could make exceptions for positions such as the Navy SEALS.

2. CLINTON FIERCELY DEFENDS U.S. HANDLING OF BENGHAZI: In often-combative testimony, she rejected senators' suggestions that the administration tried to mislead the country about the Sept. 11 attack.

3. GANG RAPE TRIAL BEGINS IN INDIA: Five men are accused of assaulting and killing a woman aboard a moving bus in a case that triggered national outrage over violence against women.

4. NORTH KOREA'S TOUGH TALK ON NUKES: The nation says it's ready for a nuclear test and has rockets designed to carry warheads that could take aim at the U.S.

5. BAD NEWS FOR METER READERS: The AP reports utilities are replacing the workers by the day with digital meters as technology overtakes a wave of middle-class jobs.

6. EQUALITY — BUT NOT IN A GOOD WAY: Women now smoke more regularly and at a younger age and are more likely to die because of their habit.

7. A BLOW TO ORGANIZED LABOR: The government says union membership fell last year to its lowest level since the 1930s.

8. RIFLES FOR SCHOOL GUARDS: A suburban Los Angeles district bought 14 semi-automatic Colt rifles last month for school police officers.

9. WHO'S JOINING THE FIGHT AGAINST NYC'S SODA BAN: The NAACP and Hispanic leaders say small businesses would suffer if stopped from selling the supersize drinks.

10. CHARLIE BROWN IS ARRESTED: Peter Robbins, the actor who voiced the "Peanuts" cartoon character on TV, is charged with stalking his former girlfriend.



1. SILVER SPRINGS SET TO BECOME FLORIDA STATE PARK: Silver Springs, one of Florida's oldest tourist attractions, is going out of business and will become a state park. The north Florida attraction, famed for its glass bottom boats, has been plagued by low attendance and pollution, which has clouded its once-clear waters.

2. FLORIDA TEACHER POLICIES RATED AMONG TOP 4 NATIONALLY: A research and policy group that advocates for accountability standards ranks Florida's teacher preparation policies among the top four nationally. The National Council on Teacher Quality on Wednesday gave Florida's teachers a grade of B-minus, the same as it received last year. That's the top grade awarded, though. The national average is D-plus.

3. JURORS TO DELIBERATE IN FLORIDA MISSING CHILD CASE: Twelve jurors are going behind closed doors to deliberate the fate of Geralyn Graham, accused of killing 4-year-old foster child Rilya Wilson more than a decade ago. Circuit Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez decided after closing arguments to begin deliberations on Thursday morning.

4. 'FAT ALBERT' TO COME DOWN AFTER 33 YEARS: Officials say a military blimp that's been tethered in the Florida Keys for more than three decades is coming down for good. An internal email by Exelis Systems Corp. — the defense contractor that operates the blimps nationally — says Air Force blimp known as "Fat Albert" that hovers over Cudjoe Key will end its 33-year flight on March 15.

5. NEW FLORIDA EDUCATION CHIEF SETTING TOP PRIORITIES: Florida's new education commissioner told a legislative panel Wednesday that his top priorities are implementing nationwide academic standards and a new teacher merit pay and tenure law.


TODAY AND EVERY DAY: Click here for links to recent arrest reports and mug shots in Collier and Lee counties.

© 2013 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.