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KNOW IT ALL: Thursday's Top 7 Stories at NBC News

A jittery world says good riddance to 2015 with hopes of a safer, more peaceful new year.
Indonesian children in costumes gather during a parade for 2015's last sundown in Bali island, Indonesia on Thursday. Firdia Lisnawati / AP

Good morning and happy New Year's Eve. Here are some of the stories we're following today:

World On Alert as New Year's Eve Arrives

A year often defined by terror attacks and unease will be ushered out under high security Thursday night, with 6,000 cops on guard in New York's Times Square and celebration plans in Paris and Brussels dampened by terror threats. Read more in NEWS

How Hard Will It Be to Convict Bill Cosby?

The comedian may be guilty in the court of public opinion, but getting a conviction on the charges Bill Cosby faces in Pennsylvania will be difficult, two renowned defense attorneys tell NBC News. Read more in NEWS

Swollen Mississippi River System Swamps Record Books

The rain is over, but the slow-motion disaster along the Mississippi River system is only expected to get worse, The Weather Channel reports. Floodwaters continue to rise in Missouri, southern Illinois, eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas, forcing evacuations and leaving at least 22 dead. Read more in NEWS

'Affluenza' Teen's Mother Returned to U.S.

Ethan Couch remains in Mexico, but his mother has been returned to the U.S. Tonya Couch was in handcuffs in the custody of U.S. Marshals when she was brought through Los Angeles International Airport early Thursday. Read more in NEWS

More Hillary Clinton Emails to be Released

The State Department will deliver a New Year's Eve batch of more emails from Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state. By court order, the State Department is required to release as many of her emails as they can in a single installment on the last weekday of every month.

Sick of El Nino? You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, Warns NASA

The El Niño currently wreaking havoc around the world is forecast to only worsen in 2016 — and NASA experts fear it could get as bad as the most destructive El Niño ever. Read more in WEATHER

Whatever Happened to Some of 2015's Biggest Newsmakers?

2015 was a big year for people who had small moments of fame. And yet, almost quickly as they rose to prominence, these newsmakers retreated back out of the national spotlight. Read more in NEWS