Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about Wednesday:
1. HOW HOUSE REPUBLICANS NAVIGATED THE CLIFF
By abandoning demands for spending cuts, the GOP cleared the way for a final, climactic vote on the budget bill.
2. THE TAX HIKE NO ONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Ending the Social Security payroll tax cut means that someone earning $50,000 will pay $1,000 more a year in taxes.
3. WHEN PALESTINIANS WILL OUTNUMBER ISRAELI JEWS
Arabs will surpass Jews in Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem by the end of the decade, according to a new population estimate.
4. FEAR GRIPS AFRICAN CAPITAL
Rebels advance on Bangui, in the Central African Republic, and the city’s 700,000 residents brace for war.
5. WHY THIS SUGAR COULD PROVE LESS-THAN-SWEET
Scientists find more evidence that fructose may play a role in obesity.
6. A TROUBLING NEW YEAR’S EVE TRADITION
Hundreds of parked cars are torched across France, part of an annual spree dating to the 1990s.
7. CHURCH FOR GAYS EXAMINES ITS REASON FOR BEING
As acceptance of same-sex relationships grows, many wonder whether the Metropolitan Community Churches are still needed.
8. FULL SPEED AHEAD FOR THE WORLD’S LARGEST FERRIS WHEEL
Some say Staten Island doesn’t need the ambitious project. Supporters say the storm-torn borough needs a boost now more than ever.
9. HEF AND HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE FINALLY SAY ‘I DO’
Crystal Harris broke off a previous engagement to the 86-year-old founder of Playboy.
10. STANFORD SMELLS THE ROSES
The Cardinal down Wisconsin 20-14 in the Granddaddy of college bowl games.