— Your look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
1. DONETSK TO GO AHEAD WITH AUTONOMY VOTE
Pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine decide to hold referendum on Sunday despite calls from Putin to postpone it.
2. WHAT MAY RAISE POLITICAL STAKES FOR MIDTERM ELECTIONS
House Republicans are set to begin a special probe of the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, and Democrats are considering a boycott of the committee.
3. SENATE POISED TO GRILL POTENTIAL SEBELIUS SUCCESSOR
Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Obama’s nominee to take over the federal health care agency – and assume responsibility for “Obamacare” – begins confirmation hearing.
4. BOKO HARAM KILLS HUNDREDS IN BUSY MARKETPLACE
The attack escalates Nigeria’s growing crisis from the campaign of bombings, massacres and abductions being waged by the Islamic militants.
5. GOP-LED HOUSE VOTES TO HOLD EX-IRS OFFICIAL IN CONTEMPT
Democrats deride the action targeting Lois Lerner as little more than an election-year ploy to fire up the Republican base.
6. WHAT SILICON VALLEY, DEMOCRATS HAVE IN COMMON
The tech industry may dress differently from buttoned-up politicians, but that’s where a wealthy segment of Obama’s Democratic donor base can be found.
7. WHO ARMY IS DEPLOYING TO COMBAT PTSD
Lexy, a 5-year-old German shepherd, is getting soldiers to put aside bravado and seek treatment for stress disorders and mental health issues.
8. WHO’S STRUGGLING IN THE CLASSROOM
Only about a quarter of high school seniors in the U.S. are performing proficiently in math, and just 4 in 10 are making the grade in reading, a new report says.
9. WHAT’S HOLDING BACK THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
Birth rates – crucial for economic growth – tumbled after the Great Recession in 2008 and still haven’t recovered.
10. TEXANS ON THE CLOCK
Houston will have the No. 1 pick when the NFL draft gets underway, Day 1 of a three-day, made-for-TV marathon.