2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
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- Texas marijuana farm a rare find near border
- Obama taking less vacation, but too much for some
CHILMARK, Mass. (AP) — President Barack Obama has spent less time away from the White House than his predecessors. But his two-week break on the resort island of Martha's Vineyard and hours on the golf course have his detractors teeing up as they highlight the slew of foreign policy crises currently facing the United States.
- Renegade Libyan forces say their planes attack Tripoli again
By Heba al-Shibani and Ayman al-Warfalli TRIPOLI/BENGHAZI Libya (Reuters) - The air force of Libya's renegade general Khalifa Haftar on Saturday attacked positions of Islamist-leaning militia in Tripoli for the second time in less than a week, one of his commanders said. The faction under attack, Operation Dawn mainly from the town of Misrata, said the raids had killed 10 people and wounded dozens. Haftar launched a campaign against Islamists in the eastern city of Benghazi in May. He threw his weight behind fighters from the western region of Zintan who are battling militia from the town of Misrata, east of Tripoli. In the 2011 NATO-backed campaign to oust Muammar Gaddafi fighters from Zintan and Misrata were comrades-in-arms but they later fell out and this year they have turned parts of Tripoli into a battlefield.
- Canadian PM bans Chinese media from Arctic trip
- Fleeing Iraqi Christians reveal horror of Islamic State
From the rescue plane which took them on a one-way journey to France, two Iraqi refugees revealed tales of rape and fear at the hands of Islamic State that forced them to flee their homeland with nothing. Rene, who did not want to give his last name, said the Islamic extremists currently rampaging through Syria and Iraq were as terrifying as they were sophisticated in their communication methods. He was one of 40 refugees who landed Thursday in Paris after being flown out of Arbil along with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who indicated that France was prepared to take in more people in "extreme cases."
- Iraq works to ease tensions after mosque attack kills 70
Iraqi officials worked Saturday to calm soaring tensions after 70 people were gunned down at a Sunni mosque, as bombings in Baghdad and the north killed over two dozen more. The attack at the mosque in Diyala province the day before, which most accounts said was the work of Shiite militiamen, threatens to increase anger among Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority with the Shiite-led government at a time when an anti-militant drive depends on their cooperation. The violence came as the US, which is carrying out air strikes in Iraq against Islamic State (IS) jihadists, ramped up its rhetoric over the grisly killing of journalist James Foley by the group and shown in a video posted online. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said Foley's beheading "represents a terrorist attack against our country".
- Ferguson residents struggling with daily life
- Sharpen the pencils: Tennessee revives cursive teaching
By Tim Ghianni NASHVILLE (Reuters) - Children in Tennessee will have to get used to holding a pencil again next year when new cursive handwriting standards go into effect in schools throughout the state. The trend around the United States is to emphasize keyboarding - a skill that is included in the Common Core education standards adopted by most states. "I am surprised we have stopped teaching it in some places," said Gary Nixon, executive director of the Tennessee School Board. If you can do it, great, but if not, it doesn't matter," said Cory Woodroof, 21, a student at Lipscomb University in Nashville who felt grade school handwriting classes were wasted time.