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What you need to know: Friday

Published On: Feb 21 2014 07:23:58 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 21 2014 07:25:04 AM CST

Doug Wahl

Joshua Drabek in court

It's Friday, February 21 and here is your day ahead:

In local news...

WEATHER:  Watch out for that wind. Yesterday's winter storm is bringing strong winds to the region today. West winds are gusting higher than 35mph at times. Get ready for another round of cooler temperatures. High today of 28 with a low around 10. Single digits on-tap for next week.  Full forecast

1. JOSHUA DRABEK TRIAL

Guilty:

The jury deliberated for nearly 11 hours, and came back with a guilty verdict for Joshua Drabek. The now 20-year-old Madison man was convicted on two counts of sexual abuse and one count of child abuse. Prosecutors said Drabek attacked his stepsister twice, beginning when he was 13, and she was just 9. Sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday. Full story

2. KRISTEN SMITH

In court:

Kristen Smith will make her first court appearance today in Madison. She's charged with kidnapping her newborn nephew two weeks ago. The Wisconsin-based Army Reserve said Smith was discharged in 2012, after only serving one year. Members usually serve for 8. The army can't reveal why she was discharged.

3. ANIMAL ABUSE INVESTIGATION

Underfed and thirsty:

Authorities seized a dozen horses after the animals were found underfed in Wiota, Wis. The owner didn't comply with orders to increase food rations. The Lafayette County Sheriff's Office received reports of neglect on the farm and began investigating. They found one dead horse, and others that were suffering from neglect. The county is paying for about 45 days of recovery which could total about $12,000. Officials are accepting donations at the sheriff's office. Full story

In national news

1. TORNADOES

Manic Mother Nature:

Another day, another weather roller coaster. Hold on tight. Last week, brutal snow paralyzed much of the nation. This week, rumbling tornadoes are knocking out power in various states. Large sections of the Midwest and South were under tornado watches last night, with Tennessee and Illinois among the hardest hit.

2. UKRAINE PROTESTS

More talks, more deals:

Yet another day of bloody street protests yesterday was followed by more talks today. After the talks, President Viktor Yanukovych announced a plan to hold early elections. His office had announced earlier that a deal has been reached to resolve the crisis. The opposition hasn't said a word yet. So far this week, two truces have crumbled, leaving protesters and police battling at Kiev's Independence Square. Opposition medics said 100 protesters died yesterday, but the government placed the toll much lower -- 77 people since Tuesday. And in Venezuela, the unrest is not letting up, either.

Kiev, Ukraine protests

3. WINTER OLYMPICS

Race for gold:

As events draw to a close, the stakes are getting higher. National pride and cases of beer are on the line. President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper are betting cold ones on their nations' hockey matches. Obama owes him a case after the U.S. women lost to Canada yesterday. Canada has won the gold three times in a row - maybe the President should throw in some extra brews? The men's matchup is today, and the beer wager applies here too. (Rumor has it that the loser nation keeps Justin Bieber.) Other events today include men's short-track and women's slalom.

4. AL QAEDA LINKS

Shoe bomb warning:

The feds warned airlines this week about a shoe bomb threat. Turns out, the warning is a result of a credible threat. Intelligence points to tactics tied to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and its master bomb maker, a federal official says. But counterterrorism officials played down the warning at first, saying there's no evidence of a specific attack in the works. But would the U.S. take steps to warn carriers if the threat wasn't real?

5. DALAI LAMA VISITS U.S.

China's not amused:

President Obama hosts the Dalai Lama at the White House today. But don't look for Beijing to break out the Champagne glasses. The Chinese are urging Obama to scrap the meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader. By arranging a meeting, the U.S. will "severely impair China-U.S. relations," its foreign ministry said. Beijing routinely protests when world leaders meet the Dalai Lama. It accuses him of trying to establish an independent Tibet, a region in China.

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