2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Sierra Leone declares emergency as Ebola death toll hits 729
    Sierra Leone declares emergency as Ebola death toll hits 729

    By Umaru Fofana FREETOWN (Reuters) - Sierra Leone declared a state of emergency and called in troops to quarantine Ebola victims on Thursday, joining neighbouring Liberia in imposing tough controls as the death toll from the worst-ever outbreak of the virus hit 729 in West Africa. The World Health Organisation said it was in urgent talks with donors and international agencies to deploy more medical staff and resources to one of the world's poorest regions. The WHO reported 57 new deaths between July 24 and July 27 in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Authorities in Nigeria, which recorded its first Ebola case last week when a U.S. citizen died after arriving on a flight from Liberia, said all passengers travelling from areas at risk would be temperature-screened for the virus.

  • Tennis star Wozniacki to run NYC Marathon
    Tennis star Wozniacki to run NYC Marathon

    NEW YORK (AP) — Caroline Wozniacki always feels confident she can outrun her opponent on the tennis court.

  • U.S. missionary jailed in North Korea feels 'abandoned': paper
    U.S. missionary jailed in North Korea feels 'abandoned': paper

    A U.S. missionary imprisoned in North Korea since 2012 has said he feels abandoned by his government and has appealed again for help in securing his release, a pro-North Korea newspaper reported on Thursday. Kenneth Bae, who is of Korean descent, was arrested in November 2012, convicted and sentenced to 15 years hard labor last year. "Bae said he had heard that the U.S. government is doing everything it can for his release but feels disappointment that there has been no sign of resolution when he is approaching two years in his stay in (the North) and that he feels abandoned by the U.S. government," the Choson Sinbo newspaper said. Bae said he was suffering from illness of the spleen as well as liver, prostate and spinal problems and he asked the United States to send a special envoy to try to secure his release, said the newspaper which is published in Japan but supports the North and reflects its views.

  • Airbus adamant no room for more talks in cancelled Japan jet deal
    Airbus adamant no room for more talks in cancelled Japan jet deal

    Airbus on Thursday said its decision to cancel a $2.2 billion jet order from Skymark Airlines was final, rejecting the Japanese carrier's suggestion that talks were still ongoing. The European aircraft maker said this week it had informed Skymark that its purchase of six A380 superjumbos "has been terminated", just hours after the airline said it was still locked in tough negotiations. Skymark's Tokyo-listed shares plunged in the wake of Airbus announcement, wiping out a quarter of its market value -- amounting to about $64 million -- in just two sessions. A spokesman for the European firm's Tokyo unit told AFP Thursday: "We will not talk about the issue of the shipment anymore, as we have cancelled the order." He added that Airbus would now be working on a compensation package over the failed deal, which was signed three years ago.

  • Researchers: World Trade Center ship dates to 1773
    Researchers: World Trade Center ship dates to 1773

    Researchers say a ship unearthed at the site of New York's World Trade Center predates American independence.

  • Israel, Palestinian militant groups begin three-day Gaza truce

    By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A three-day ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip went into effect on Friday, with negotiators due to travel to Cairo to discuss a longer-term solution. The 72-hour break announced in a joint statement by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was the most ambitious attempt so far to end more than three weeks of fighting, and followed mounting international alarm over a rising Palestinian civilian death toll. After the ceasefire began at 1 a.m. EDT (0500 GMT), Gaza's streets began to fill with Palestinian families. In Israel, sirens that have sent tens of thousands running for shelter daily fell silent.

  • Pilot sentenced for groping teenage girl on flight
    Pilot sentenced for groping teenage girl on flight

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A former Utah airline pilot was sentenced Wednesday to more than two years in prison for groping a 14-year-old girl in the seat next to him during an off-duty flight.

  • France mulls ban on radical Jewish group
    France mulls ban on radical Jewish group

    France is considering disbanding a radical Jewish group whose members clashed with pro-Palestinian activists during rallies over Israel's offensive in Gaza, a source close to the case told AFP on Thursday. News of the mooted ban on the Jewish Defence League (LDJ) came just ahead of an evening pro-Israel demonstration outside the Jewish state's embassy, located near the French prime minister's office. Police said around 4,500 people joined the rally called by the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF). They were held in response to weeks of pro-Palestinian protests that have been marred by clashes, arrests and allegations of anti-Semitism in which synagogues were targeted and Israeli flags burnt.

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