2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • ASSISTANT'S GRUFF ATTITUDE NEEDS TO BE SMOOTHED OUT

    DEAR ABBY: How do I deal with an assistant who keeps calling me a "brownnoser"? She did it again yesterday at a staff meeting in front of my boss and another assistant. It was the third time she has said it. She is gruff and rude, and several people have complained to me about her attitude. Should I address her comments during her next employee evaluation, or would it be better to speak to her privately? -- THE BOSS IN LAKELAND, FLA. DEAR BOSS: Talk to her privately and tell her what she said is insulting, not funny and you don't want it to be repeated. ...

  • Strong 7.5 magnitude quake hits off Papua New Guinea

    (Reuters) - An earthquake with a magnitude 7.5 struck off Papua New Guinea on Saturday and a tsunami warning was briefly issued for the Pacific Island nation and neighboring Solomon Islands, but there were no immediate reports of damage. The quake, at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), struck 68 km southwest of Panguna on the island of Bougainville, the U.S. Geological Survey said, revising down the magnitude from an initial 7.8. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later cancelled a tsunami warning for Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and there was no threat to neighboring Australia or across the Pacific Ocean. At least six strong tremors have hit near Bougainville in the past week or so, including a magnitude 7.3 on April 11, but there have been no reports of major damage.

  • Retailer Michaels Stores confirms payment card data breach

    (Reuters) - Michaels Stores Inc, the biggest U.S. arts and crafts retailer, on Thursday confirmed that there was a security breach at certain systems that process payment cards at its U.S. stores and that of its unit, Aaron Brothers. The company said in January that it was working with federal law enforcement officials to investigate a possible data breach. Michaels Stores said the breach, which took place between May 8, 2013 and January 27, 2014, may have affected about 2.6 million cards, or about 7 percent of payment cards used at its stores during the period. There was no evidence that data such as customers' name or personal identification number were at risk, Michaels Stores said in a statement.

  • TEENAGE GIRL'S BOYISH FIGURE IS OFTEN DECEIVING TO OTHERS

    DEAR ABBY: I'm a 14-year-old girl with a problem. Because of my buzzed short hair, slim hips and flat chest, I frequently get mistaken for a boy. It really bothers me because, despite my haircut and body shape, I have a feminine face and I wear women's clothes and makeup. I'm not too much of a tomboy. Sometimes when someone addresses me with a male pronoun or in some other way mistakes me for a male, I'm too nervous to correct them. Is there a clever or witty way to correct the mistake? -- NOT A BOY IN BROOKLYN, N.Y. ...

  • California farmers to get more water
    California farmers to get more water

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Drought-stricken California farmers and cities are set to get more water as state and federal officials ease cutbacks due to recent rain and snow, officials announced on Friday.

  • Iran says Arak nuclear reactor row all but resolved
    Iran says Arak nuclear reactor row all but resolved

    Iran's dispute with world powers over its unfinished Arak heavy water reactor has been "virtually resolved," it said Saturday, less than a month before nuclear talks seeking a permanent agreement. The facility -- whose remaining components Iran cannot commission or install under an interim agreement struck in November -- is of international concern as it could theoretically give Tehran a second route to a nuclear bomb. Nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran and the so-called P5+1 group of world powers were now seeing eye to eye on the Arak reactor after Tehran offered to make certain changes.

  • Fiat Chrysler strikes deal to produce Jeeps in China

    Fiat Chrysler has reached an agreement to start producing Jeep vehicles in China with partner Guangzhou Automobile Group Co , the companies said on Saturday, as Fiat tries to catch up with competitors in a fast-growing market. The plan to produce three new Jeep vehicles in China for the domestic market, through the GAC Fiat joint venture, has received the necessary government approvals, the companies said. GAC Fiat is also considering making a Jeep uniquely designed for China, where the Italian carmaker hopes the successful sport-utility brand can help it make up lost ground behind long-established rivals.

  • Special Report: How the U.S. made its Putin problem worse
    Special Report: How the U.S. made its Putin problem worse

    By David Rohde and Arshad Mohammed WASHINGTON AND NEW YORK (Reuters) - In September 2001, as the U.S. reeled from the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Vladimir Putin supported Washington's imminent invasion of Afghanistan in ways that would have been inconceivable during the Cold War. He agreed that U.S. planes carrying humanitarian aid could fly through Russian air space. He said the U.S. military could use airbases in former Soviet republics in Central Asia. And he ordered his generals to brief their U.S. counterparts on their own ill-fated 1980s occupation of Afghanistan.

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