Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
Spaniards dream of 'El Gordo' miracle
Cash-strapped Spaniards are praying for a miracle ahead of the annual draw for the world's richest lottery prize, "El Gordo" or "The Fat One" - a grand total of €720 million (HK$7.4 billion), with the prize divided between 180 winning tickets. With each entry costing €200, many Spaniards buy tickets collectively among family, friends and neighbours. It's likely to be a rare bright spot in a bleak year as the nation battles its debt crisis and comes to terms with austerity.
Still want to shop? Head to Guangzhou
Shopaholics tired of Hong Kong's Christmas rush can head to Guangzhou, which is opening its international shopping festival to boost retail sales. The provincial capital's government has arranged parades, free Wi-fi services and other programmes with the aim of encouraging shoppers to go to the major shopping areas in the city. The festival continues until January 3.
Oman holds historic first election
Omanis vote in their first municipal election, a modest opening apparently designed to stem discontent about corruption and lack of jobs in what is usually one of the Arab world's quietest corners. One of the oldest Arab states and under absolute rule by Sultan Qaboos bin Said for 42 years, Oman experienced unrest inspired by Arab uprisings elsewhere early last year. But many Omanis say the local vote is meaningless because municipal councils hold little power.
Pakistan's cricketers return to India
India welcomes the first tour by Pakistan's cricketers since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which saw ties between the two nations deteriorate. Pakistan will play three one-day internationals at Chennai, Calcutta and Delhi, and two Twenty20 matches at Bangalore and Ahmedabad. Indian authorities are expected to allow 3,000 Pakistani fans visas to attend the matches, relaxing strict visa rules.
Students sit crucial English exam
Mainland students who want to study at university take a national examination to grade their English skills. A mainland website, sina.com.cn even put up a link to a Nasa video clip telling people yesterday was not doomsday, to encourage students to study hard for the examination because - given that the apocalypse was a no-show - they still had to sit it.
CY back in town to a busy schedule
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying returns to the city after completing his first duty visit to Beijing. But despite winning praise from state leaders, Leung faces a busy and sometimes difficult agenda over the festive period. As well as preparing for his maiden policy address in mid-January, Leung faces a rally on New Year's Day calling for his resignation and an impeachment motion to be debated by lawmakers on January 9.