2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Social Security to resume benefits statement mailings
    Social Security to resume benefits statement mailings

    By Mark Miller CHICAGO (Reuters) - Paper Social Security benefits statements, which used to be mailed out every year and then fell victim to budget cuts, are going to make a partial comeback. Starting this September, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will resume mailings at five-year intervals to workers who have not signed up to view their statements online, an agency spokesman told Reuters. The statements will be sent to workers at ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60, he said, adding the agency would continue to promote use of the online statements. The SSA stopped mailing most paper statements in 2011 in response to budget pressures, and saved the SSA $70 million annually - about 50 cents per mailed statement.

  • Philippines' oldest artworks in danger of disappearing
    Philippines' oldest artworks in danger of disappearing

    Binangonan (Philippines) (AFP) - On a small rock wall a short drive from the Philippine capital, enigmatic carvings that are believed to date back 5,000 years are in danger of disappearing before their mysteries can be solved. The 127 engravings of people, animals and geometric shapes are the Southeast Asian nation's oldest known artworks, but encroaching urbanisation, vandals and the ravages of nature are growing threats. The artworks have been declared a national treasure, regarded as the best proof that relatively sophisticated societies existed in the Philippines in the Stone Age. "They show that in ancient times, the Philippines did have a complex culture.

  • Unemployment rates fall in 21 US states last month
    Unemployment rates fall in 21 US states last month

    WASHINGTON (AP) — More than two-thirds of the states reported job gains in March, as hiring has improved for much of the country during what has been a sluggish but sustained 4 1/2-year recovery.

  • 5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus
    5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus

    As Christians worldwide gather for Easter to celebrate their belief in the death and rebirth of Jesus, researchers continue to delve into the mysteries that surround the man. The following are five questions about Jesus that, for now, at least, remain unanswered. In 2008, astronomer Dave Reneke argued that the Star of Bethlehem (a celestial event long associated with Jesus' birth) may have been Venus and Jupiter coming together to form a bright light in the sky. Other researchers have claimed that a similar conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter occurred in October of 7 B.C. Still others have claimed that Jesus was born in the spring, based on stories about shepherds watching over their flocks in fields on the night of Jesus' birth — something they would have done in the spring, not the winter.

  • 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.

  • New York taxi driver allegedly avoided paying more than $28K in tolls by tailgating other drivers
    New York taxi driver allegedly avoided paying more than $28K in tolls by tailgating other drivers

    No single driver is believed to have made so many free and illegal trips in New York.

  • Fox executive fired over Flight 370 charity email

    NEW YORK (AP) — A veteran Fox executive who used her company email account to plan aid for loved ones of the missing Malaysian airplane's passengers has been fired.

  • Ukraine Suspends 'Anti-Terrorist Operation'

    Statement Cites Easter and Geneva Agreement as Reason

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