2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
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Our favorite red carpet moments of 2012.
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- Merkel blasts U.S. spying, hopes Washington will change tack
By Alexandra Hudson BERLIN (Reuters) - Angela Merkel said on Saturday that new allegations of U.S. spying showed Berlin and Washington were completely at odds over how they viewed the role of intelligence, and she hoped German action would persuade the United States not to spy on partners. Her comments to German broadcaster ZDF come two days after her government told the CIA station chief in Berlin to leave the country, in a dramatic display of anger after German officials unearthed two suspected spies. On Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters "when differences arise, we're committed to resolving those differences through the established private channels... we don't believe that trying to resolve them through the media is appropriate." The scandal has chilled relations with Washington to levels not seen since Merkel's predecessor opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
- American pleads guilty in Al-Qaeda sting operation
A naturalized US citizen from India pleaded guilty Friday to providing material support to Al-Qaeda, its Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front and Shebab militants in Somalia after an FBI sting operation. Gufran Ahmed Kauser Mohammed, 31, had pleaded not guilty in August when he was indicted, but changed his plea when he made an appearance before US District Judge Ursula Ungaro in Miami. Mohammed was one of two men nabbed in the operation that saw an undercover FBI agent use an Internet chatroom to pretend to help finance Al-Qaeda and other militant groups in Syria and East Africa. According to the indictment, Mohammed made several transfers of funds to East Africa to help support Shebab fighters in Somalia, before making a transfer to the undercover agent, who was posing as a fundraiser, recruiter and supplier for Al-Nusra.
- British tourist severs fingers on Walt Disney World ride in Florida
A tourist from the United Kingdom lost two fingertips in an accident on a boat ride at Florida's Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, a local emergency official said on Friday. The 57-year-old man's fingertips were severed on Thursday morning on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in the resort's Magic Kingdom theme park. The injury occurred as he was holding onto a boat with his fingertips outside the vessel, said Reedy Creek Fire Department Assistant Chief Bo Jones. The severed fingertips - on the ring and pinky fingers of his right hand - were not recovered, Jones said.
- Britain bars Russian delegation from Farnborough air show
Britain said Saturday it had barred a Russian delegation from attending the Farnborough air show because of the Ukraine crisis, sparking an angry reaction from Russia. The Russian embassy in London expressed "regret" that Britain had not issued visas to a large part of its delegation and demanded an urgent explanation. The Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) is a key event in the aviation sector calendar, with Russia usually sending a sizeable contingent as it seeks foreign sales. Britain has been a strong backer of EU asset bans and travel freezes against Moscow over what it says is Russian interference in conflict-torn eastern Ukraine.
- TV's 'Cake Boss' helped from fogged-in boat in NYC
- Owners of Trump Plaza casino expect it will close
- FBI’s Billion Dollar Facial Recognition Falls Short of Facebook’s
The technology used to help tag your friends in Facebook photos is more accurate than the FBI’s new billion dollar facial recognition system that’s supposed to help track down bad guys. The FBI’s system matched a suspect’s photo with the wrong name about one in seven times. To be sure, the experts stress caution when comparing Facebook’s database of 250 billion photos to the FBI’s database of 50 million. Still, That’s a pretty big problem for a facial recognition system that the FBI has said is supposed to be faster and more accurate than police lineups.
- Elisabeth Hasselbeck Responds To Critics After Rosie O'Donnell Comments
Rosie O'Donnell hasn't even returned to "The View" yet, and it feels like we're in the midst of the show's Hot Topics segment. After commenting on Rosie's return to the daytime talk show on "Fox & Friends," and Joy Behar calling her out for the comments, former reality star-turned-talk show host-turned Fox News talking head Elisabeth Hasselbeck continues to speak out - or something she would refer to as her "analysis." "I don't hate Rosie," she wrote in an Instagram post on Thursday night. Elisabeth then went on to quote Rosie from 2007, the same year of their infamous split screen TV showdown that ended with Rosie leaving the show.