New Day

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Searchers find more bodies while looking for the doomed AirAsia flight. Police officer deaths are up this year, and the numbers show it. And Palestinians miss approval of statehood by just one vote in the U.N. Security Council.

It's Wednesday, and here are the “5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

DOOMED PLANE
Wreckage on seafloor? Yesterday, the first wreckage scraps and a few bodies turned up; today, teams searching for doomed AirAsia Flight QZ8501 may have come upon something larger. It's not confirmed, but one official says he thinks sonar spotted debris on the floor of the Java Sea. Rescuers also found at least one more body. Ten have been recovered so far, one of them wearing a flight attendant’s uniform. Yesterday, loved ones who inadvertently saw images of bodies in the water broke down - some fainted.

OFFICER DEATHS UP
A setup: Police officers who say they’re under threat now have the numbers to back that claim up. Gunfire killed 50 of them this year, up from 32 last year up – a 56% rise, a police organization said. Some officers were gunned down at traffic stops or while checking out shady situations, but atop the list was ambush. Like the one in New York this month that killed NYPD’s Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. Or the one in Pennsylvania, where two state troopers were gunned down, allegedly by survivalist and military buff Eric Frein. But things were much worse four decades ago. 1n 1973, shooters killed 156 officers.

MINIMUM WAGE
More bread, or more crumbs? Three million American workers will get a raise next year, when 21 states and Washington, D.C., increase their minimum wage. That will make for a total of 29 states where the bottom of the earnings barrel is higher than the federally mandated $7.25 an hour. But even with more coins jingling in their pockets, workers earning the minimum may have to scrape by. Try living on $15 an hour in San Francisco. Or $9.25 - instead of last year’s $9 - in San Diego.

PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD
Just missed: One more vote, and we’d be calling it “Palestine.” Had Palestinians gotten the nine votes in the U.N. Security Council needed for statehood, Israel would have had to end the occupation by 2017. Eight countries voted for the resolution. Five abstained. And two voted against it - one of them the U.S. And the other? Australia. Their qualms? The resolution was too one-sided, Australia media reported, put forward by just one party.

GITMO TRANSFERS
Five down, 127 to go: The prison population in the U.S. detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is shrinking. Two Yemenis and three Tunisians were sent packing to Kazakhstan recently, after a review committee determined they posed no threat. President Obama seems to have kept his word about thinning Gitmo’s numbers. After the September 11, 2001, attacks, nearly 800 detainees were held there without charge.