10 things to know for Wednesday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
1. HOSTAGE MOM TO JAPAN LEADER: PLEASE SAVE KENJI
The mother of the captive journalist calls on Prime Minister Abe to save her son as a new ultimatum, purportedly made by the Islamic State, gives him hours to live.
2. CUOMO, DE BLASIO DEFEND STORM DECISIONS
Erring on the side of caution, both say they were right to shutter New York City ahead of bad weather that never turned into the frozen apocalypse they predicted.
3. ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE TO FACE SENATORS
Loretta Lynch, who could become the first African-American woman to hold the post, will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the first time.
4. HOW SMUGGLERS FERRY FLEEING SYRIANS ACROSS THE MEDITERRANEAN
Refugees hoping to make it to Europe are packed into scrapyard-bound cargo ships and left to fend for themselves with no crew.
5. WHAT'S NEXT FOR APPLE AFTER RECORD PHONE SALES
Analysts worry that the company, which sold a record 74.5 million iPhones in the last quarter, is relying too much on the device to make profits.
6. LIBYAN ISLAMIC STATE AFFILIATE CLAIMS TRIPOLI ATTACK
The group is taking responsibility for killing 10 people at a luxury hotel in Libya's capital city, including one American and four Europeans.
7. FED EXPECTED TO CONTINUE BEING 'PATIENT' OVER HIKE
Despite the strong economic data, the Federal Reserve may hold on a bit longer to its pledge of not raising interest rates too hastily.
8. BACKLASH PROMPTS WHITE HOUSE RETREAT
After both Republicans and Democrats protested, the Obama administration is abandoning a plan to reduce the tax benefits of college savings plans.
9. DIVERSITY ON DISPLAY AT SUNDANCE
Films by and about black people fare well at the independent festival — though that success rarely translates to the Hollywood mainstream.
10. WHO TO WATCH DURING THE SUPER BOWL
Regarded as the top two cornerbacks in the NFL, Seattle's Richard Sherman and New England's Darrelle Revis likely will help determine the game's outcome.