5 Things to Know This Morning

PHOTO: New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez looks on during an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field, Dec. 23, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Your look at the five biggest and most buzz-worthy stories of the morning.

1. U.S. To Begin Peace Negotiations With Taliban

The Taliban said they are prepared to sit down for direct peace talks with Afghan and U.S. officials over the future of Afghanistan.

2. NFL Star's Home Searched After Killing

Investigators searched the North Attleborough, Mass., home of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez following the killing of a man police call an "associate" of Hernandez, ABC News has learned.

3. Al Qaeda's Abandoned NY Stock Exchange Plot Revealed

Top U.S. security officials revealed that the government's recently exposed surveillance programs led them to an al Qaeda cell that plotted, scouted, but ultimately abandoned a plan to bomb the Wall Street in 2008.

4. Amanda Knox Court Cites Abandoned Theory of Sex Game Gone Wrong

The Italian Supreme Court handling Amanda Knox's murder case released its reasoning and cited prosecutors' early theory that her roommate, Meredith Kercher, died in an "erotic game" that got out of hand, a motive that the prosecution abandoned during the initial trial.

5. Heat Force Game 7 in NBA Finals

The Miami Heat topped the San Antonio Spurs in overtime 103-100, sending the NBA Finals into Game 7 this Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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