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10 Things to Know for Wednesday, Dec. 11

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

1. GRIDLOCK EASES ON CAPITOL HILL

A budget deal is reached that would avert about $63 billion in automatic spending cuts. It's expected to be approved by both houses.

2. WHAT THE VOLCKER RULE AIMS TO PREVENT

Designed to defuse the kind of extreme risk-taking on Wall Street that helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis, it would affect how big banks do business.

3. UKRAINE POLICE STAND DOWN AFTER PROTEST GROWS

Anti-government protesters claim victory after a showdown in which authorities scuffled with demonstrators in the capital.

4. NEXT STEPS IN MANDELA FAREWELL

The casket of the anti-apartheid icon, draped in the multi-colored South African flag, arrives at the seat of power in the country's capital for public viewing.

5. AMERICANS HOLD CONGRESS, OBAMA IN LOW REGARD

A new poll shows that nearly two-thirds of people would like to see their House member replaced, and 58 percent disapprove of the president's performance.

6. WHY OBAMA GREETING CASTRO MATTERS

Two presidents shaking hands usually isn't noteworthy, but when they are from nations that have been mired in Cold War antagonism for more than five decades, people pay attention.

7. URUGUAY'S CONGRESS OK'S GOVERNMENT-RUN MARIJUANA MARKET

The plan now awaits the signature of the country's president, who says he's convinced the global drug war is a failure.

8. SCIENTISTS PLAN TRICKY RENDEZVOUS WITH COMET

The European Space Agency is planning to land an unmanned spacecraft on a comet next year in an unprecedented mission.

9. FAMILY DISPUTES POLICE CLAIMS IN SHOOTING DEATH

The parents of a San Antonio university student shot and killed by a campus officer say the official account is inconsistent with their son's character.

10. WHO WON'T BE SKATING AT SOCHI

America's Evan Lysacek, the reigning Olympic figure skating champ, announces that a hip injury will keep him from competing.

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