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10 things to know for today, Jan. 2, 2015

By The Associated Press

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

1. MARIO CUOMO DIES AT 82

Obama praises the former New York governor as “an unflinching voice for tolerance, inclusiveness, fairness, dignity, and opportunity.”

2. “LIVING HELL” FOR SLAVES IN REMOTE SOUTH KOREA

The disabled and homeless are forced to work on islands off the country’s southwest coast, but no local officials who know about slavery will face punishment.

3. SEARCHERS RECOVER 7 MORE BODIES FROM AIRASIA CRASH SITE

The investigation turns to the ocean floor, with more sonar equipment and metal detectors deployed to scour the seabed for wreckage.

4. WHAT POSES CHALLENGE FOR LEGAL POT STATES

Washington and Colorado wrestle with competition from medical marijuana or even outright black market sales.

5. IRAQ’S BIRDS OF MERCY TAKE FLIGHT FROM DIN OF WAR

Trappers sell captured European starlings at the market in Irbil, with most buyers purchasing their freedom to bring good luck – but the campaign against the Islamic State group appears to have scared many of the birds away.

6. FAMILIES OF SHANGHAI VICTIMS SEEK ANSWERS

Authorities still investigate the cause of the stampede that killed 36 people during a New Year’s celebrations.

7. IF NOT HILLARY, THEN WHO?

If the former secretary of state decides not to run for president, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are among other possible top candidates.

8. PIANO STORES CLOSING AS FEWER CHILDREN TAKING UP INSTRUMENT

Some blame computers and others opt for a less expensive electronic keyboard, but what’s clear is that a long-term decline in sales has accelerated.

9. WHY GOVERNMENT SCIENTISTS RUN A FAKE BAR

In a laboratory complete with bar stools and tap, National Institutes of Health researchers test new treatments to help people cut back on alcohol.

10. OHIO STATE BEATS ALABAMA

The winner and Pac-12 champion Oregon will meet in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 12 in the first College Football Playoff championship game.

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