2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • The Ridiculous—and Sexist—Reason This Little Boy Was Sent Home From School

    The Seminole Independent School District said that it was only following procedure, noting that proper documentation of religious or spiritual beliefs was required for exceptions. After F.J. Young Elementary turned Malachi away, his mother contacted the Navajo Nation. In Oklahoma, a school superintendent recently came under fire for asking female high school students to bend over to check the length of their shorts.

  • U.N. to send team to investigate Islamic State crimes in Iraq
    U.N. to send team to investigate Islamic State crimes in Iraq

    By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations agreed on Monday to send investigators to Iraq to examine crimes being committed by Islamic State militants on "an unimaginable scale", with a view to holding perpetrators to account. "We are facing a terrorist monster," Iraq's human rights minister, Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani, told the U.N. Human Rights Council which adopted a resolution tabled by Iraq and France at an emergency sitting of the 47-member state forum in Geneva. The Council aims to send 11 investigators, with a total budget of $1.18 million, to report back by March 2015.

  • Longtime personal chef to Obama weds MSNBC host
    Longtime personal chef to Obama weds MSNBC host

    POCANTICO HILLS, N.Y. (AP) — President Barack Obama on Saturday temporarily set aside the pressures of trying to calm the world's trouble spots and assumed the role of spectator for something more joyous: the wedding of the Obama family's longtime chef and friend.

  • Ukraine accuses Russia of "undisguised aggression" as rebels advance
    Ukraine accuses Russia of "undisguised aggression" as rebels advance

    By Pavel Polityuk and Polina Devitt KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia on Monday of "direct and undisguised aggression" which he said had radically changed the battlefield balance as Kiev's forces suffered a further reverse in their war with pro-Moscow separatists. In the latest in a string of setbacks in the past week, Ukraine's military said it had pulled back from defending a vital airport in the east of the country, near the city of Luhansk, where troops had been battling a Russian tank battalion. Poroshenko said in a speech there would be high-level personnel changes in the Ukrainian armed forces, whose troops fled a new rebel advance in the south which Kiev and its Western allies say has been backed up by Russian armored columns. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called on Sunday for immediate negotiations on the "statehood" of southern and eastern Ukraine, blamed Kiev's leadership for refusing to enter into direct political talks with the separatists.

  • Iraq presses fightback after breaking jihadist siege
    Iraq presses fightback after breaking jihadist siege

    Iraqi troops, Kurdish fighters and Shiite militiamen backed by US air strikes pressed a fightback against jihadist-led militants Monday, buoyed by breaking a weeks-long siege of a Shiite town. The military gains came as a senior UN rights official said the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group has carried out "acts of inhumanity on an unimaginable scale" in Iraq, while caretaker premier Nuri al-Maliki vowed the country would prove the group's "graveyard". The breakthrough to the town of Amerli on Sunday was the biggest offensive success for the Iraqi government since IS-led militants overran much of the Sunni Arab heartland north and west of Baghdad in June. The United States carried out limited air strikes in the area during the operation, the first time it has expanded its more than three-week air campaign against IS beyond the far north of Iraq.

  • Wozniacki outlasts Sharapova, in US Open quarters
    Wozniacki outlasts Sharapova, in US Open quarters

    NEW YORK (AP) — Caroline Wozniacki trusts her stamina so much that she plans to return to New York in two months to run a marathon.

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help
    Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea gave foreign media access on Monday to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and — watched by officials as they spoke — called for Washington to send a high-ranking representative to negotiate for their freedom.

  • Cuba cracks down on goods in travelers' luggage
    Cuba cracks down on goods in travelers' luggage

    HAVANA (AP) — Lugging duffel bags crammed with soap, socks, toys and toiletries, travelers arriving in Cuba on Monday carried loads of hard-to-obtain consumer goods but complained that new government restrictions on their imports would leave their families wanting.

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