-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about Thursday:
1. A FORMER PRESIDENT IS AILING
George H.W. Bush is in intensive care at a Houston hospital, where his fever has worsened and doctors have put him on a liquid diet.
2. AND A SOUTH AFRICAN LEADER IS BETTER
Nelson Mandela, 94, was released from the hospital after nearly a month of treatment for a lung infection and gallstones.
3. TWO SIGNS OF A WEAKENING ASSAD REGIME
Syria's chief of military police defects to the opposition and a wounded interior minister returns from Beirut.
4. HOLIDAY STORM MOVES NORTH AS DEATH TOLL RISES
At least six died after the storm brought tornadoes, heavy snow and cancelled hundreds of flights.
5. A $1B-PLUS SETTLEMENT FOR TOYOTA DRIVERS
The agreement over acceleration problems with the Prius is one of the largest in U.S. history.
6. OBAMA RETURNS TO TALK 'FISCAL CLIFF'
But no new negotiations are scheduled to avert the end-of-the-week economy-threatening deadline.
7. WHY SURVIVORS OF NY SHOOTING ARE THANKFUL
The two firefighters say they have received lots of support as they recover from an ambush by an ex-convict in Webster.
8. THE TEACHER IS PACKING
More than 200 Utah educators are expected to pack a convention hall Thursday for six hours of concealed-weapons training.
9. WHO HAWAII'S NEW SENATOR WILL BE
Brian Schatz, Hawaii's lieutenant governor, was chosen by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to succeed the late Sen. Daniel Inouye.
10. 1,400 MILES IN EIGHT HOURS
That's the ground you'll cover if you take the world's longest high-speed train line, connecting Beijing and Guangzhou in China.