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10 things to know for today, Dec. 17

By The Associated Press

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

1. PAKISTAN SCHOOL SCENE OF HEART-WRENCHING LOSS

Images of blood-soaked floors, torn notebooks and blown up children’s clothes show horrors of the attack that killed nearly 150 people in Peshawar.

2. SYDNEY GUNMAN DROPPED OFF SURVEILLANCE

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the 50-year-old man who took 17 people hostage at a cafe on Monday was on a terror watch list till 2009.

3. WHICH MEMBER OF POLITICAL DYNASTY IS POISED TO RUN IN 2016

Jeb Bush all but declares his candidacy for president more than a year before the first primaries.

4. WHY RUSSIA’S CURRENCY IS REGAINING SOME LOST VALUE

Moscow’s announcement that it will bolster its sagging ruble by selling foreign reserves is causing a moderate rise in its value, but consumers are still scrambling as prices rocket.

5. NY PREMIERE FOR ‘THE INTERVIEW’ CANCELED AMID THREATS

A group calling itself the Guardians of Peace makes ominous threats against movie theaters showing the movie that depicts a terror plot to kill the North Korean leader.

6. WHERE YOU CAN’T ‘SUPERSIZE’ FRIES

Japan is facing a drastic shortfall in potato supplies forcing local McDonald’s outlets to limit orders of fried potatoes to small size only.

7. HOW QATAR IS FAKING IT WHEN IT COMES TO SPORTS

In the rich but thinly populated Gulf nation, migrant workers are paid to attend sporting events to give the impression Qataris are obsessed with all things athletic.

8. EX-MARINE’S BODY FOUND AFTER MANHUNT

An Iraq war vet suspected of killing his ex-wife and five of her relatives is discovered dead with self-inflicted stab wounds near his suburban Philadelphia home.

9. AP FINDS POLITICIANS GOT QUESTIONABLE STOCK PAYOUTS

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina deny they did anything improper by accepting the payouts, which were not fully described in their ethics statements.

10. BILL COSBY WON’T FACE CHARGES IN PLAYBOY MANSION CASE

Los Angeles prosecutors decline to file charges against the TV icon after a woman recently claimed the comedian molested her at the mansion around 1974.

Comments

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

Education

All Hood Alumni and Friends Symposium scheduled June 18

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team

Education

Shoutouts: Southern City Church awards educational gifts

Local

City to pave streets surrounding Bell Tower Green after park is constructed

Nation/World

Colonial Pipeline restarts operations days after major hack

Nation/World

Ohio’s million-dollar idea: Lottery prizes for vaccinations

Nation/World

GOP dumps defiant Trump critic Cheney from top House post

Nation/World

Israel steps up Gaza offensive, kills senior Hamas figures

Coronavirus

Fluctuating COVID-19 death number back to 302 in Rowan County

Crime

Habitual felon sentenced to at least 8 years in prison

Kannapolis

City of Kannapolis to have bike rodeo Saturday

Crime

Two more charged for operating illegal gambling businesses

Education

A.L. Brown celebrates seniors with signing day

Business

Rebounding, but not recovered: Rowan County tourism begins challenging path toward normalcy