2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
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- 10 Things to Know for Today
- Passport Office workers strike amid applications backlog
Passport Office staff on Monday launched a 24-hour strike over staffing shortages and pay just weeks after extra workers were drafted in to tackle a backlog of tens of thousands of applications. The Home Office criticised the union over the timing of Monday's strike, which it says could "inconvenience" many people and "jeopardise" holiday plans at the height of the summer. Hundreds of extra staff were drafted in last month to deal with a backlog of about 30,000 applications amid mounting complaints about long delays in passports being processed. The Passport Office last month said applications had been at their highest level in 12 years, with more than three million passports issued so far in 2014.
- DR Congo's insect cuisine: nutritious and delicious
In Kinshasa's Gambela market shoppers can find insects for every occasion -- from unctuous white weevil larvae for fancy dinners to crispy caterpillars and snacky termites that stick in your teeth. They may be an unbeatably cheap source of protein, but DR Congo's many insect connoisseurs insist they also have real gastronomic value. "The caterpillars and the other insects we eat are very rich in protein," said Maguy Manase, a seller at the market. Caterpillars are sold living, dried or boiled up into a kind of porridge.
- Cable on Ohio amusement park ride snaps, hurting 2
- Bell ends century drought as India toil in third Test
Ian Bell ended his century drought as England continued to pile up the runs against India in the third Test at Southampton on Monday. At tea on the second day, England were 452 for five. Bell was 133 not out -- his first hundred in 20 Test innings -- with Jos Buttler, fortunate not to have made a duck on Test debut, unbeaten on 13. Earlier, Gary Ballance made a Test-best 156 and put on 142 for the third wicket with Bell.
- Why transportation stocks are a smart play now
- N. Korea threatens nuclear strike on White House
A top-ranking North Korean military official has threatened a nuclear strike on the White House and Pentagon after accusing Washington of raising military tensions on the Korean peninsula. The threat came from Hwang Pyong-So, director of the military's General Political Bureau, during a speech to a large military rally in Pyongyang Sunday on the anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. Hwang, who holds the rank of vice marshal in the Korean People's Army, said a recent series of South Korea-US military drills, one of which included the deployment of a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier, had ramped up tensions. "If the US imperialists threaten our sovereignty and survival... our troops will fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon -- the sources of all evil," Hwang said in his speech broadcast Monday on state television.
- US fuming over Israeli criticism of Kerry