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10 Things to Know for Thursday

  • Cars make their way slowly on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 696 near Central Park Boulevard in Southfield, Mich., Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 26, 2012 (AP Photo/The Detroit News, David Guralnick)The Associated Press

  • FILE - In a Tuesday, June 12, 2012 file photo, former President George H.W. Bush, and his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, arrive for the premiere of HBO's new documentary on his life near the family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said Wednesday, Dec. 26. 2012 that doctors at the Houston hospital where Bush has been treated for a month remain “cautiously optimistic” that he will recover. Still, no discharge date has been set, and McGrath says that doctors are being cautious because at Bush’s age “sometimes issues crop up that are beyond anybody’s ability to discern or foretell.”(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)The Associated Press

  • In this photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, a bullet train G80 leaves for Beijing from the Guangzhou South Railway Station in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. China has opened the world's longest high-speed rail line, which runs 2,298 kilometers (1,428 miles) from the country's capital in the north to Guangzhou, an economic hub in the Pearl River delta in southern China. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Chen Yehua) NO SALESThe Associated Press

Your daily look at late-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.