2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Wildfire in California's Sierra Nevada menaces 1,600 homes
    Wildfire in California's Sierra Nevada menaces 1,600 homes

    By Alex Dobuzinskis and Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fire crews in California's rugged Sierra Nevada battled to gain the upper hand on Wednesday against a blaze that threatened 1,600 homes and has displaced 2,100 residents as flames roared for a fifth day through dry timber and brush west of Lake Tahoe. The so-called King Fire, the most menacing of 11 major wildfires across the drought-parched state, has scorched at least 18,500 acres (7,490 hectares) of the El Dorado National Forest since it erupted Saturday, fire officials said. ...

  • Pistorius Judge Under 24-Hour Police Protection After Controversial Ruling
    Pistorius Judge Under 24-Hour Police Protection After Controversial Ruling

    Judge Thokozile Masipa is wrapping up the most famous trial of her career, that of athlete Oscar Pistorius for shooting and killing his then girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentines Day 2013. 

  • Next title: Elizabeth, Queen of Scots?
    Next title: Elizabeth, Queen of Scots?

    LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II can keep her magnificent Scottish castle at Balmoral should Scots vote for independence — and chances are she will be able to keep her role as well.

  • Sri Lanka backs China's maritime 'Silk Road' plan
    Sri Lanka backs China's maritime 'Silk Road' plan

    COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping won Sri Lanka's support Tuesday for a proposed maritime "Silk Road" linking China with Europe, and helped launch billion-dollar power plant and port city projects funded by his government.

  • Jon Stewart mocks Hillary Clinton's Iowa trip: 'Willary or Won'tary'
    Jon Stewart mocks Hillary Clinton's Iowa trip: 'Willary or Won'tary'

    On Tuesday's "Daily Show," host Jon Stewart skewered Hillary Clinton's return to Iowa, her first since her defeat in the Iowa caucus during the 2008 presidential campaign.

  • Scotland's independence vote puts UK union on edge
    Scotland's independence vote puts UK union on edge

    LONDON (AP) — Breaking up is hard to do, especially after 307 years. The entire United Kingdom will find out just how hard if Scotland chooses independence in Thursday's vote.

  • Tiny Hamster Takes On Kobayashi in 'Hot Dog' Eating Contest
    Tiny Hamster Takes On Kobayashi in 'Hot Dog' Eating Contest

    Takeru Kobayashi has destroyed heaping amounts of food and numerous challengers over the years as a competitive eater. He once ate 110 hot dogs in 10 minutes. He smashed a world record when he ate 97 hamburgers in 94 seconds. The burgers were slider-sized, but still, it's impressive. Even though it has been a few years since he has participated in competitive eating's largest event, Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest, he's still getting his name out there in the gustatory world. His newest challenger is the hungriest — and tiniest — yet.

  • Obama reaffirms opposition to US combat in Iraq
    Obama reaffirms opposition to US combat in Iraq

    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — President Barack Obama reaffirmed Wednesday that he does not intend to send U.S. troops into combat against the Islamic State group, despite doubts about the ability of Iraqi forces, Kurdish fighters and Syrian rebels to carry out the ground fight on their own.

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