1. Two kids shot inside west Charlotte apartment

Two children are expected to survive after being shot inside a west Charlotte apartment Thursday morning.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said it happened just before 2:00 a.m. at the Little Rock Apartments in the 5700 block of Leake Street.

When officers arrived on scene, they found two boys, ages nine and 11, with gunshot wounds. Police said one kid was shot in the arm, the other in the hip.

Click here to read the latest on the investigation.

2. NCDOT: Could be 'months' to repair dangerous stretch of I-77

A record number of people are expected to be on the roads this week, with AAA projecting more than 107 million Americans traveling for the holidays.

But if you’re on I-77 north or southbound during the evening hours, watch out for a five-mile stretch between Tyvola Road and the South Carolina state line without reflective markers.

Click here to find out when the problem is expected to be resolved.

3. Car rams into pedestrians in Melbourne; up to 14 injured

Two men were arrested in Australia after the SUV in which they were traveling rammed into pedestrians on a busy central Melbourne street Thursday, leaving 14 people injured in what police believe was a deliberate act.

Commander Russell Barrett told media that while the motive of the incident was not immediately clear, "at this stage we believe it was a deliberate act."

Click here to learn the conditions of the victims.

4. U.S. life expectancy drops for second straight year

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the average life expectancy will drop for Americans for the second straight year, according to a new report released on Thursday.

Some of the culprits, researchers say, center on the ongoing opioid crisis and stalled progress on solving heart disease, the nation's biggest killer.

Click here to learn what's going wrong with American health.

5. Thursday's winter solstice marks the longest night of the year

Winter's here. The winter solstice, which marks the longest night and fewest hours of daylight of the year, is Thursday.

The solstice — also called Yule and Midwinter — is the precise moment at which the Northern Hemisphere is tilted farthest from the sun and occurs at the same instant everywhere on Earth.

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