2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Ukraine field troops prepare for assault on Donetsk
    Ukraine field troops prepare for assault on Donetsk

    Among a sea of sunflowers, shirtless Ukranian soldiers shout advice to an earthmover's driver who digs, in a thick cloud of fumes, trenches around their armoured vehicles, on which they are perched in an open field. The column had arrived unchallenged from the city of Mariupol, in Ukraine's southeast, on Wednesday evening. The Kiev loyalists are stationed some 20 kilometres (12 miles) to the south of Donetsk, the biggest city in the east of Ukraine, currently held by pro-Russian separatists. A little further along is a third unit, flying a weather-battered yellow and blue flag of Ukraine, shielded by anti-aircraft battery, tents and a field kitchen, from which smoke billows.

  • Why Your Summer Is About to Get Colder
    Why Your Summer Is About to Get Colder

    Another Arctic Mass of Cool Air is Headed Our Way, But This Time It Might Feel Nice

  • Lebanese rockets hit Israel in offensive's 4th day
    Lebanese rockets hit Israel in offensive's 4th day

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Gaza rocket fire struck a gas station and set it ablaze Friday in southern Israel, seriously wounding one person as rocket fire also came from Lebanon for the first time in the four-day offensive.

  • U.S. House Republicans to focus Obama lawsuit on Obamacare

    By Richard Cowan and David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Republicans said on Thursday they intend to make President Barack Obama's changes to his signature health insurance law the focus of a forthcoming lawsuit accusing him of overstepping his legal authorities. The House Rules Committee made public a "discussion draft" of legislation to authorize legal action against the president for misusing executive orders and other unilateral actions to advance his agenda. House Speaker John Boehner first announced plans for a House lawsuit against Obama late last month. The draft does not mention specific grievances, but gives Boehner authority to seek injunctive relief for failure by Obama and members of his administration for failure to act in a manner consistent with the Constitution and U.S. laws "with respect to implementation of (including failure to implement) the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." Republican lawmakers, who have been trying unsuccessfully to repeal the 2010 law for years, regularly decry the Obama administration's decision to delay Obamacare coverage mandates and grant various waivers as illegal without congressional approval.

  • Hot spot: Yellowstone road melts, sites closed
    Hot spot: Yellowstone road melts, sites closed

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The ever-changing thermal geology of Yellowstone National Park has created a hot spot that melted an asphalt road and closed access to popular geysers and other attractions at the height of tourist season, officials said Thursday.

  • Great Places to Retire Overseas
    Great Places to Retire Overseas

    For ideas on destinations that are off the well-worn path, we talked to Dan Prescher, senior editor of InternationalLiving.com and author of The International Living Guide to Retiring Overseas on a Budget; We also consulted International Living's Global Retirement Index, which ranks 24 countries popular with American retirees in eight categories ranging from climate to infrastructure. Proximity to major airport: Malta International Airport, which sits just south of Valletta, the island nation's capital, offers flights to more than 100 destinations, mostly in Europe. Access to health care: Good hospitals and medical services--including the full-service Mater Dei teaching hospital, which opened in 2007--are widely available.

  • Gunman demanded to know ex-wife's whereabouts
    Gunman demanded to know ex-wife's whereabouts

    A man charged with killing four children and their parents forced his way into the family's suburban Houston home, tied them up and shot them in the back of the head when they refused to tell him where his ex-wife was, authorities said Thursday.

  • 'Sonic Boom' Earthquake Shatters Expectations
    'Sonic Boom' Earthquake Shatters Expectations

    One of the world's deepest earthquakes was also a rare supersonic quake, upending ideas about where these unusual earthquakes strike. Only six supersonic (or supershear) earthquakes have ever been identified, all in the last 15 years. "This was very surprising," said Zhongwen Zhan, lead author of the study, published today (July 10) in the journal Science. "It's not only deep, it's supershear, and it's also quite small."

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