Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday:
1. VA WOES TIED TO BONUS SYSTEM
Congressional critics say the system encouraged staff to fudge stats on wait times as a way to meet performance targets.
2. UKRAINE’S ARMED FORCES DEALT FRESH BLOW
At least 12 soldiers are killed when rebels down a helicopter. The deaths underscore the challenge the military faces in fighting a guerrilla-style insurgency.
3. HOW MISSOURI MIGHT LIFT VEIL ON EXECUTION DRUGS
The attorney general recommends that the state set up a lab and make its own lethal injection drugs, rather than buy them from compounding pharmacies in secret.
4. FDA ISSUES NEW RULES TARGETING SKIN CANCER
Tanning beds and sun lamps will now carry warning labels that they shouldn’t be used by anyone under 18.
5. WHO’S NOT SOLD ON EL-SISSI
Many older Egyptians embrace him. But younger people want change — and they’re skeptical that another military man in power will bring it.
6. STARTLING TWIST IN CASE OF WOMAN STONED TO DEATH
Police say the woman’s husband — initially pitied after the so-called “honor killing” by members of her family — was arrested four years ago for slaying his first wife.
7. WHAT LOSS OF HABITAT MEANS FOR PLANTS, ANIMALS
A study concludes that species are becoming extinct at least 1,000 times faster than they did before humans spread themselves across the plant.
8. MAN ACCOSTS BRAD PITT ON HOLLYWOOD RED CARPET
It’s the latest such stunt by Vatalii Sediuk, who has lost his job with the Ukrainian TV station that gave him a platform to cross the line with celebrities.
9. REWRITING HISTORY OF RICHARD III
Scientists studying the monarch’s bones say that while he had a severe case of scoliosis, he was far from the limping “hunchbacked toad” depicted in Shakespeare’s play.
10. WORLD CUP SQUADS BRACE FOR HEAT
Even though the tournament is being held during Brazil’s winter, stadiums in the tropical north will be warm, with temperatures often above 85 F.