by the associated press
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:
1. `THEY CAN STILL PULL THE COUNTRY BACK FROM THE BRINK'
Hilde Johnson, the U.N. representative in South Sudan, echoes the hopes of many in the violence wracked-nation as negotiators from warring tribes meet for peace talks.
2. WHAT MIGHT BE THE WILD CARD IN CONGRESSIONAL MIDTERMS
In the coming weeks, a vote to increase the nation's borrowing limit could set up a replay of last fall's showdown when GOP conservatives forced a partial government closure.
3. COLO. USHERS IN 2014 WITH ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
Legal sales of recreational pot have begun in the state, which is taxing marijuana 25 percent.
4. WHO'S CRITICAL TO AFFORDABLE CARE ACT SUCCESS
The federal government is appealing for healthy young adults — the so-called `young invincibles' — to sign up for Obamacare, since they're crucial to keeping the program afloat.
5. IT'S TIME TO START MAKING HARD DECISIONS
That's the message Secretary of State John Kerry is taking to Israeli and Palestinian leaders as he returns to the Mideast to outline a peace plan.
6. WHERE THEY'RE BRACING FOR FIRST STORM OF 2014
New England and New York prepare for several inches of snow and frigid temperatures starting Thursday.
7. US TRIES TO KEEP PACE IN RACE FOR ARCTIC RICHES
Critics say nations including Russia and Canada are ahead of America in exploring the far north's fisheries, oil, natural gas and minerals.
8. TWO TEXAS DEMOCRATS AIM FOR HISTORY
State senators Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte form an all-female ticket for governor and lieutenant governor. No such pairing has ever won those seats.
9. SALONS DAZZLE UP DOGS WITH BLING, BOWS
Some dog owners are paying groomers transform their pets with temporary paint tattoos, Mohawks, feather extension or glued-on jewels.
10. QB GURU SET TO TAKE OVER TEXANS
Bill O'Brien is set to return to the NFL to coach Houston, where he could take on the task of grooming a rookie quarterback.