2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
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- U.S. says Russia firing artillery over border at Ukraine military
The United States said on Thursday that Russia was firing artillery across its border with Ukraine to target Ukrainian military positions in the conflict with pro-Russian separatists. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf also said there was evidence that the Russians intended to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to the separatist forces. The official declined to say what targets had been hit but said the United States had no evidence of civilian casualties. The United States learned about the artillery fire through "technical and overhead" intelligence systems, the official said, an apparent reference to spy satellites and signals-intelligence collection.
- U.S. Jewish group wants its award back from Turkey's Erdogan
An association of Jewish Americans said Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has become the world's "most virulent anti-Israeli leader" and demanded he return an award it gave him a decade ago, partly for his efforts to broker peace between Israel and Palestinians. The New York-based American Jewish Congress awarded Erdogan its "Profile of Courage" award in 2004 for what it said was his stance on fighting terrorism and working towards a peace. "Now, we want it back," the association's president, Jack Rosen, said in an open letter to Erdogan dated July 23 and made public on Thursday. He cited the Turkish leader's comments last weekend that Israel had "surpassed Hitler in barbarism" through its attacks on Gaza.
- For stocks, Dow 20,000—then a crash?
Famed asset manager Jeremy Grantham predicts short-term gain and long-term pain for stocks, writes Brett Arends.
- EU targets state-owned Russia banks in sanctions plan
By Justyna Pawlak and Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union would target state-owned Russian banks vital to financing Moscow's faltering economy in the most serious sanctions so far over the Ukraine crisis under proposals considered by EU governments on Thursday. Ambassadors of the 28-nation bloc discussed options to curb Russian access to capital markets, arms and energy technology in response to the downing of a Malaysian airliner in an area of eastern Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists on July 17. Talks on the options for stepped-up action drafted by the European Commission will continue on Friday morning, an EU official said, and diplomats said decisions on wider sanctions were likely at the earliest next week. Ambassadors also agreed to further expand the scope of sanctions to include companies and people who support Russian decision-makers responsible for the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region or for destabilising eastern Ukraine.
- Thousands attend tense pro-Gaza march in Paris
- U.S. scientists to map interior of Mount St. Helens volcano
By Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - A series of explosions set off by a team of scientists were expected to rattle Washington state's Mount St. Helens on Wednesday as researchers map the interior of the volcano, whose 1980 eruption was the deadliest in U.S. history. Mount St. Helens, about 95 miles (150 km) south of Seattle and 50 miles (80 km) north of Portland, erupted in an explosion of hot ash in May 1980, spewing debris over a wide area, killing 57 people and causing more than a billion dollars in damage. Scientists from across the United States are trying to get a better handle on the magma stores and internal workings of the 8,300-foot (2,530-meter) volcano to improve warning systems prior to eruption. "Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes in the Cascade Range threaten urban centers from Vancouver to Portland," lead scientist Alan Levander of Rice University in Houston said in a statement.
- GUEST HOWLS OVER DOG'S ATTENDANCE AT WEDDING
DEAR ABBY: Is it acceptable to bring a teacup-sized dog to a wedding? The excuse was, "Well, the wedding was at the beach." The pre-dinner and dancing were inside a high-end resort on the beach. The dog was taken inside these establishments. After a guest -- a family member of the dog's owner -- asked the owner to remove the animal because the occasion was not about her and her dog but the bride and groom's day, the owner put the dog in a carrying case and the dog returned to the wedding for the rest of the night. ...
- Five Ways Paul Ryan Thinks He Can End Poverty
Rep. Paul Ryan thinks the federal government should stop its habit of treating poverty as a series of isolated problems and start listening to the “boots on the ground,” local community leaders fighting for different results. Today, Ryan, R-Wisconsin, released an anti-poverty proposal he coined an...