I want to split this area of question in three parts -
- The amount of news that pours into a region or location
- Indicating with appropriate icon that the map is not camouflaged in whole or parts by the icon and the pop-over on it.
- Keeping new items poured inside as the user returns back
When the news is generated in a region, I believe you might have additive news coming in at different time, simple multiple news in a region. So looking at your options it will be very cumbersome to pick the news straight out without zooming inside further.
I would look it a way where - you got to marry an icon (appropriate one for news) and indicate by numbers next to the icon. So it would keep cumulatively adding the news count. On click of the news it should open in a modal window, which incidentally can group multiple news. With a top bar as a carousel the news detail with header opens underneath it. This news section will have the scroll without any "Read More" link.
So a larger icon takes precedent mapping to the area. So I click it, the map zooms automatically to sub-regions, whereas it splits the news count further down.
Now an appropriate icon could be a News Roll, speech bubbles or even simple numbers inside a box.
A mechanism like a separate indicator as part of the icon to show that there are new news item that has come in, while the user returns back. This is an extensive business case for your existing case, as we can make user intuitively understand that the new item is lying inside this region, so go ahead and click it.
If you do want a headline also shown up, I would advice to have a separate column next to map, such as on mouse hover the news headliners show up in the box. By this way you do not hide or camouflage the map but can freely move to find news according to the count shown in. This will also have a larger icon, and will break apart as further zooming down automatically.