TGIF! 15+ things to know for Friday

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

1. HELP MAY BE ON THE WAY FOR STORM VICTIMS: Congress plans to vote at noon on a $9.7 billion aid package for businesses and homeowners devastated by Superstorm Sandy.

2. HEY YOU, HANDS OFF MY SUPERSIZE SODA: An AP poll finds that Americans blame too much screen time and cheap eats for fueling the nation's fat epidemic, but most balk at the feds limiting food choices.

3. EXPERTS PREDICT MODEST HIRING REPORT: At 8:30 a.m., the government issues its December jobs report, which economists forecast will show that employers added 155,000 jobs. The unemployment rate is projected to remain at 7.7 percent.

4. GABRIELLE GIFFORDS SAID TO BE INVITED TO NEWTOWN: The former Arizona congresswoman, critically wounded by a gunman two years ago, is planning to meet with victims' families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, a Connecticut official says.

5. WHY MILLIONS ARE ANXIOUS FOR COURT RULING: India's highest court may decide whether the country's drug companies can continue to provide cheap versions of many life-saving medicines.

6. A PRISON'S UNIQUE APPROACH TO SERVICE DOGS: A maximum-security prison in Maryland is allowing incarcerated veterans to train dogs that will eventually help fellow veterans on the outside who are disabled.

7. HOW THE FISCAL CLIFF DEAL WAS SWEETENED: The package includes billions in tax breaks for businesses.

8. FOR CLINTON, DUTY CALLS: The secretary of state is planning to return to work next week after being hospitalized for a blood clot in her head.

9. WHICH DIVA RULES THE CHARTS: It's Adele — and she set a record while she was at it. The British singer's "21" was the highest-selling album in the U.S. for the second consecutive year, beating out Taylor Swift's "Red."

10. WHAT MAY BE SWAN SONG FOR A DUCK: Fifth-ranked Oregon races past No. 7 Kansas State 35-17 in the Fiesta Bowl in what may have been coach Chip Kelly's final game with the Ducks.



1. 2 PANTHER DEATHS DISCOVERED IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA: Two Florida panther kittens have been killed, continuing a trend that led to record mortality rates in 2012. A record 26 of the endangered cats died in 2012; a record-tying 17 were killed by vehicles.

2. GROUP OFFERS REWARD FOR ARREST IN HATE CRIME: The Council on American-Islamic Relations is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot a man in the face because he believed the victim was from the Middle East.

3. SOUTH FLORIDA PRISON HEALTH WORKERS GET PINK SLIPS: Health care workers at nine South Florida prisons are getting termination notices because their jobs are being outsourced. The Department of Corrections reported Thursday that notices began going out this week to nearly 400 employees.

4. MAN FACES 15 YEARS FOR STEPSON'S FATAL BEATING: A Central Florida man faces up to 15 years in prison for beating his toddler stepson to death. As part of a deal with Polk County prosecutors, 31-year-old Marcus Brown pleaded no contest to manslaughter Thursday.

5. FLORIDA STATE'S WERNER TO ENTER 2013 NFL DRAFT: Florida State says All-American defensive end Bjoern Werner will forego his senior season and enter the 2013 NFL Draft. The school announced Werner's departure Thursday, two days after the Seminoles' 31-10 Orange Bowl victory.

TODAY AND EVERY DAY: Click here for links to recent arrest reports and mug shots in Collier and Lee counties.

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