2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
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- More and more airlines eliminating pesky check-in process
In a sign that traditional airline check-in could become a thing of the past, low-cost US airline JetBlue has become the latest carrier to eliminate the process altogether. After Air France, Finnair, Brussels Airlines, ANA All Nippon Airway and Lufthansa, JetBlue has also introduced automatic check-in, eliminating the need to check-in online 24 hours before their flight. Instead, customers will receive an email alert 24 hours before their scheduled flight along with either a printable boarding pass or a paperless mobile boarding pass for those who’ve downloaded their JetBlue mobile app. In an interview with aviation trade site Future Travel Experience, JetBlue’s senior vice president Eash Sundaram pointed out that the check-in process has become an antiquated and unnecessary step in the flying experience today.
- Google seeks to dismiss U.S. antitrust lawsuit over Android
By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - An antitrust lawsuit targeting Google's Android operating system should be dismissed, Google said in a court filing on Friday, partly because smartphone manufacturers are free to utilize Android on their phones without also installing Google apps. Two smartphone customers filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Google Inc in May, arguing that the way Google licenses Android to smartphone companies like Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is unfair to Google's competitors for search and other mobile services.
- Ukraine jets pound rebels after deadly missile attack
By Richard Balmforth and Natalia Zinets KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian war planes bombarded separatists along a broad front on Saturday, inflicting huge losses, Kiev said, after President Petro Poroshenko said "scores and hundreds" would be made to pay for a deadly missile attack on Ukrainian forces. In exchanges marking a sharp escalation in the three-month conflict, jets struck at the "epicenter" of the battle against rebels near the border with Russia, a military spokesman said. Warplanes also struck at targets near Donetsk, the east's main town where rebels have dug in, destroying a powerful fighter base near Dzerzhinsk, Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the "anti-terrorist operation" said. In an earlier air attack on a base near Perevalsk, north of Donetsk, two tanks, 10 armored vehicles and "about 500" rebel fighters were destroyed, he said.
- Robert Mugabe's racial decree on whites and land brings backlash
Now those comments by the long-ruling autocrat are bringing a backlash in Zimbabwe’s beleaguered trade and tourism ministries. As the Monitor reported July 3, Mr. Mugabe visited a small farming community 120 miles from the capital Harare that was handing out land permits. The Zimbabwe Independent today castigated the president’s speech, in which Mugabe’s “voice was dark and foreboding when he said ‘we will have no mercy for white people regarding the land, they cannot own our soil.’” On the same day, Mugabe, whose initiatives over the years have aimed at redressing British colonial injustices, also said that whites in Zimbabwe may own companies and apartments in urban areas, but no actual land.
- How World Cup cash is paid to teams, players
- U.S. blacklists Hezbollah agents buying drone components
The United States moved Thursday to blacklist a group of companies it said covertly helped Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah militia acquire components for surveillance drones. The US Treasury placed sanctions on Beirut-based Stars Group Holding, which it said purchased electronics and other technology via offices in China and Dubai to support Hezbollah's military operations. The material bought by Stars Group included engines, communications, electronics, and navigation equipment acquired from suppliers in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. It named for sanctions the company, its subsidiaries, its owner, executives Kamel Mohamad Amhaz and Issam Mohamad Amhaz, and two Stars Group managers, Ayman Ibrahim and Ali Zeaiter.
- Putin Writes Off $32 Billion of Cuba's Debts to Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently on a grand tour of Latin America. His first stop is in Havana, Cuba. Ahead of arriving in Cuba, Putin decided to bestow a gift upon the Cuban government. The first payment is due in October, and will be made from the National Bank of Cuba to the Russian lender Vnesheconombank.
- Girl hoped to have been cured of HIV has relapsed
A Mississippi girl born with the AIDS virus and in remission for more than two years despite stopping treatment now shows signs that she still harbors HIV — and therefore is not cured. The news is a setback to hopes that very early treatment with powerful HIV drugs might reverse an infection that has seemed permanent once it takes hold.