2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Kroger manager fired after he slams a knife-wielding shoplifter to the ground
    Kroger manager fired after he slams a knife-wielding shoplifter to the ground

    The incident was caught on cellphone video by a customer in the parking lot.

  • Saudi spy chief ousted under US pressure: experts
    Saudi spy chief ousted under US pressure: experts

    The exit of Saudi's spy chief was the result of US pressure over his stance on Syria but does not signal a shift in Riyadh's goal of toppling the Damascus regime, experts say. Riyadh, as is usual, did not elaborate on its statement this week that Prince Bandar bin Sultan was being replaced, saying only that the veteran diplomat had asked to step down. But a Saudi expert said that Washington -- irritated for some time by Prince Bandar's handling of the Syria dossier -- had in December demanded his removal. Prince Bandar was leading Saudi Arabia's efforts to finance, arm and unify the Syrian rebellion, which after three years of fighting is still far from its goal of overthrowing the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
    Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist

    Oscar-winning actress, comedienne and talk-show host Whoopi Goldberg sang the praises of marijuana inhaled through a pocket vaporizer on Thursday as she made her debut as an online pot columnist. In fact, her name is Sippy." wrote Goldberg, 58, about her pocket vaporizer on "The Cannabist," a pot-friendly website run by the Denver Post newspaper in Colorado. The Rocky Mountain state was the second in the United States, after Washington in the Pacific Northwest, to legalize marijuana for recreational use. But in a country where, at the federal level, marijuana is classified as an illegal drug on a par with heroin, Goldberg said Sippy's compact proportions helps maintain discretion.

  • Centipede Bursts from Snake's Stomach
    Centipede Bursts from Snake's Stomach

    A group of researchers stumbled upon a grisly scene during a field study in Macedonia last year: a dead nose-horned viper with a centipede's head sticking out of its ruptured abdomen. "All of us were astonished, as nobody has ever seen something like this," Ljiljana Tomovi?, a herpetologist at the University of Belgrade, told Live Science in an email. The remnants of the death match were discovered when one researcher, Dragan Arsovski, turned over a stone, Tomovi? The unfortunate nose-horned viper (Vipera ammodytes) was a young female that stretched about 2 inches longer than the centipede (7.9 vs. 6 inches, or 20.3 vs. 15.4 centimeters), the researchers wrote last month in a brief report published in the journal Ecologica Montenegrina.

  • Foodie politics: Renowned chef and new U.S. citizen Jose Andres stirs up immigration debate
    Foodie politics: Renowned chef and new U.S. citizen Jose Andres stirs up immigration debate

    The Spanish-American restaurateur on becoming a citizen, serving presidents and fighting hunger

  • Scientists find Earth-sized world in orbit friendly to life

    The discovery, announced on Thursday, is the closest scientists have come so far to finding a true Earth twin. The star's outermost planet, designated Kepler-186f, receives about one-third the radiation from its parent star as Earth gets from the sun, meaning that high noon on this world would be roughly akin to Earth an hour before sunset, said astronomer Thomas Barclay, with NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. "This planet is an Earth cousin, not an Earth twin," said Barclay, who is among a team of scientists reporting on the discovery in the journal Science this week. NASA launched its Kepler space telescope in 2009 to search about 150,000 target stars for signs of any planets passing by, or transiting, relative to the telescope's point of view.

  • List of works by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    List of works by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Colombia's Nobel literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who died Thursday, was a prolific writer and pioneer of magical realism whose seminal work was "One Hundred Years of Solitude.

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