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10 for today: Tuesday, Dec. 31

10 for today: Tuesday, Dec. 31

HAPPY NEW YEAR: Crystal triangles on the New Year's Eve ball are lit during a test atop the 1 Times Square building, Monday, Dec. 30, in New York. The iconic 11,875-pound geodesic sphere covered in 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles will descend a 130-foot pole to mark the stroke of midnight during the annual Times Square celebration. Photo: Associated Press/John Minchillo

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:

1. OFFICIALS INSIST OLYMPIC GAMES WILL BE SAFE

They say that while Sochi is a high-profile terror target, it will also be one of the best-protected venues in the world come February.

2. HOW AMERICANS ARE FEELING ABOUT THE YEAR AHEAD

About half of Americans expect 2014 to be better than 2013, but few people feel the U.S. has found the right path, according to an AP-Gfk poll.

3. FAMILY VOWS TO SUE TO KEEP DAUGHTER ON LIFE SUPPORT

A 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy in California will remain on a breathing machine as legal battles continue.

4. WHY MICHAEL SCHUMACHER’S SKI ACCIDENT SEEMED SO FREAKISH

The auto racing legend “gave the image of someone indestructible, powerful,” fellow F1 star Alain Prost says. “It’s a banal accident compared to what he’s done in the past.”

5. IN ISRAEL, ANGER OVER FREEING OF PALESTINIANS

The release of more than two dozen inmates is part of a U.S.-brokered package to restart Mideast peace talks. ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS

6. WHO’S REPLACING NYC MAYOR AT THE TIMES SQUARE BALL DROP

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a city native, will lead the final 60-second countdown to 2014, while Michael Bloomberg spends time with family and friends.

7. RESIDENTS NEAR FIERY NORTH DAKOTA DERAILMENT URGED TO EVACUATE

Authorities say a shift in weather could increase the risk of potential health hazards for people living near the accident site.

8. TOPS IN TECH TOUGHER TO TELL

The AP’s Anick Jesdanun says competition has gotten so intense that one brand rarely stands out anymore in any tech product category.

9. WORDS BETTER LEFT UNSAID

“Selfie” and “twerk” top a Michigan university’s annual list of annoying words, with “Mr. Mom” and “hashtag” also strong contenders.

10. NFL COACHING CAROUSEL SPINS

With the regular season barely concluded, five head coaches are already unemployed.

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