2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • America's gay rights battle goes global
    America's gay rights battle goes global

    Starting in 2012, the leader of the most prominent American anti-gay marriage organization unexpectedly began adding a ton of stamps to his passport.

  • US rejects military cooperation with Iran in Iraq, open to talks
    US rejects military cooperation with Iran in Iraq, open to talks

    Paris (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday ruled out military cooperation with Iran but said Washington remained open to talks with Tehran about the threat posed by Islamic State militants.

  • Iran rejects US-led coalition against jihadists
    Iran rejects US-led coalition against jihadists

    Tehran (AFP) - Iran said Monday it rejected a US request for its cooperation against the jihadist Islamic State as part of an international coalition whose true aim Tehran sees as regime change in Syria.

  • 'Mr. Confession' and his boss drive China's antitrust crusade

    By Michael Martina and Matthew Miller BEIJING (Reuters) - A signboard at the top of a staircase in the ageing Beijing offices of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) directs lawyers and company officials to numbered conference rooms for antitrust meetings. The printed list names half a dozen or more companies on any given day - a sign of the recent flurry of activity from the NDRC - one of China's three antitrust regulators. Inside those rooms, lawyers and executives describe meetings with the NDRC as "interrogations", where raised voices, flaring tempers and verbal reprimands are commonplace. From interviews with more than two dozen attorneys, executives, and experts, who have been drawn into investigations with the NDRC's price supervision and anti-monopoly bureau, a picture emerges of a culture of intimidation under the leadership of Director General Xu Kunlin.

  • Hundreds flee 3 California wildfires; homes burn
    Hundreds flee 3 California wildfires; homes burn

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A wildfire that broke out in far Northern California on Monday burned at least 75 structures, forced the evacuation of about 1,500 residents and caused the closure of a major interstate freeway.

  • At a landmark Berlin rally, Merkel vows to fight anti-Semitism

    By Erik Kirschbaum and Bethan John BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will do all it can to fight anti-Semitism, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a speech on Sunday, following a surge of abuse against Jews and spreading anti-Israeli sentiment aroused by the Gaza conflict. Merkel made her pledge to thousands at a landmark rally protesting a rise in anti-Semitism that authorities and Jewish leaders blame mainly on Muslim extremists and young immigrants, saying anyone who attacks Jews is attacking all of Germany. "That people in Germany are threatened and abused because of their Jewish appearance or their support for Israel is an outrageous scandal that we won't accept," Merkel said. "It's our national and civic duty to fight anti-Semitism." Merkel only rarely attends demonstrations, but she joined German President Joachim Gauck and Jewish community leaders for the rally at the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin.

  • Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting
    Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting

    By Gerardo Esquerre CABO SAN LUCAS Mexico (Reuters) - Hurricane Odile ground its way up Mexico's Baja California peninsula on Monday, gradually losing strength after injuring dozens of people, forcing the evacuation of thousands and smashing shops open to looters in the popular tourist area. Fierce winds felled trees, buffeting homes and businesses, as one of the worst storms ever to hit the luxury retreats of Los Cabos battered Mexico's northwestern coast with heavy rains. Odile has weakened from a Category 4 to Category 1 hurricane since Sunday, but the U.S. ...

  • Scottish independence could mean messy divorce
    Scottish independence could mean messy divorce

    LONDON (AP) — How do you divorce after a 300-year union? It's complicated, and there is a deadline.

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