2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Australia says missing plane hunt will take months
    Australia says missing plane hunt will take months

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in a remote patch of the Indian Ocean is progressing well but will likely take many months because of the huge area involved, an Australian official said Friday.

  • Pfizer's $11 billion buyback plan deflates AstraZeneca bid hopes

    LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer is to continue buying back stock, with the board authorizing a new $11 billion share repurchase plan, deflating expectations that it will make a new bid for AstraZeneca. Shares in AstraZeneca fell 1.2 percent by 0800 GMT on Friday following the news. The largest American pharmaceuticals company, whose shares gained more than 1 percent after the announcement late on Thursday, said the move was in addition to the $1.3 billion remaining on its current share buyback program. ...

  • 1st Ebola case in W. African nation of Mali
    1st Ebola case in W. African nation of Mali

    BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Mali's health minister says the West African country has confirmed its first case of Ebola.

  • Sears to close stores, lay off about 5,500: Seeking Alpha
    Sears to close stores, lay off about 5,500: Seeking Alpha

    (Reuters) - Sears Holdings Corp is shuttering more than 100 stores and laying off at least 5,457 employees, investor website Seeking Alpha reported on Thursday, indicating the struggling retailer may be stepping up store closures. Sears said in August it had closed 96 stores in the six months since February and planned to close a total of 130 underperforming stores during the full fiscal year. It added at the time that it may shutter additional stores beyond the 130 target. ...

  • China launches first mission to moon and back
    China launches first mission to moon and back

    China launched its first space mission to the moon and back early Friday, authorities said, the latest step forward for Beijing's ambitious programme to one day land a Chinese citizen on the Earth's only natural satellite. The unnamed, unmanned probe will travel to the moon, fly around it and head back to Earth, re-entering the atmosphere and landing, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) said in a statement. "The first stage of the first return journey test in China's moon probe programme has been successful," it said after the launch, from the Xichang space base in the southwestern province of Sichuan. The module will be 413,000 kilometres from Earth at its furthest point on the eight-day mission, it added.

  • Wall St. climbs on Procter & Gamble, Microsoft

    By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks advanced on Friday, buoyed by gains in Microsoft and Procter & Gamble after their quarterly results and as steps towards expediting the development of vaccines for Ebola eased concerns over its possible spread in the United States. Microsoft was up 1.6 percent at $45.75, after it reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue while keeping its profit margins largely intact. Fellow Dow component Procter & Gamble gained 2.7 percent to $85. ...

  • Russia Tones Down the Rhetoric as Its Economy Struggles
    Russia Tones Down the Rhetoric as Its Economy Struggles

    Russia’s leaders have continued to criticize the economic sanctions imposed by the West over their invasion of Ukraine, but the official complaints from Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have recently taken a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tone. Growth in Russia has come to a virtual standstill, as foreign investors pull money out of the country and those who have been considering new investments reconsider. Global oil prices are moving sharply downward, presenting a major challenge to a Russian economy that is utterly dependent on oil and gas exports. Russia’s inflation rate rose to 8.3 percent in mid-October, driven largely by increasing food prices, driving concern that the central bank will need to raise interest rates in order to slow price increases.

  • Gestapo impostor tricked Nazi sympathizers in WWII
    Gestapo impostor tricked Nazi sympathizers in WWII

    LONDON (AP) — At the height of World War II, Hans Kohout wanted to give the Nazis advance word of a top-secret British tactic that could neutralize an enemy's air defenses, leaving major cities exposed to devastating air raids, according to secret intelligence files released Friday.

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