2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • 10 Things to Know for Today
    10 Things to Know for Today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

  • NASA says new heavy-lift rocket debut not likely until 2018

    By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) - NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, designed to fly astronauts to the moon, asteroids and eventually Mars, likely will not have its debut test flight until November 2018, nearly a year later than previous estimates, agency officials said on Wednesday. NASA is 70 percent confident of making a November 2018 launch date, given the technical, financial and management hurdles the Space Launch System faces on the road to development, NASA associate administrators Robert Lightfoot and Bill Gerstenmaier told reporters on a conference call. NASA estimates it could spend almost $12 billion developing the first of three variations of the rocket and associated ground systems through the debut flight, and potentially billions more to build and fly heavier-lift next-generation boosters, a July 2014 General Accountability Office report on the program said. While the rocket might be ready for a test flight in December 2017, as previously planned, the new assessment showed the odds of that were “significantly less” than the 70 percent confidence level NASA requires of new programs, Gerstenmaier said.

  • NASA Nears Choice on Private Space Taxis for Astronauts
    NASA Nears Choice on Private Space Taxis for Astronauts

    The world could know by the end of the week which private spaceship is going to fly NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station. The space agency is about to give out its Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract, or CCtCap, the last in a series of awards and agreements NASA began putting in place in 2010 to encourage the development of private space taxis for American astronauts. While one winner is widely expected, it's possible that NASA will tap multiple companies, agency officials said. "NASA has not specified a set number of awards under CCtCap," NASA officials wrote in a blog post last week.

  • Schwarzenegger movie finds deal, ducks Toronto film fest

    The Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin film "Maggie" is set for a 2015 world premiere thanks to its newly minted distribution deal with Lionsgate.

  • Shaun the shaggy Aussie sheep finally shorn smooth
    Shaun the shaggy Aussie sheep finally shorn smooth

    SYDNEY (AP) — Shaun the shaggy Australian sheep has at last been shorn smooth. But the woolly wanderer wasn't the wooliest of all.

  • AP ANALYSIS: A grim stalemate at war's end in Gaza
    AP ANALYSIS: A grim stalemate at war's end in Gaza

    TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The third Gaza War in six years appears to have ended in another sort of tie, with both Israel and Hamas claiming the upper hand. Their questionable achievements have come at a big price, especially to long-suffering Palestinians in Gaza.

  • Obama’s Anti-Doctrine Doctrine
    Obama’s Anti-Doctrine Doctrine

    Terrorists in Syria and Iraq have been overrunning the countryside, pausing to savagely murder an American journalist. Pakistan is reeling from political crisis. The Russians just made an incursion into Ukraine, the Israelis have been blowing up every other building in Gaza, and Ebola's rampaging through West Africa. All of which has led to some of the most blistering criticism of Barack Obama's presidency.

  • IMF chief charged with 'negligence' over graft case
    IMF chief charged with 'negligence' over graft case

    IMF chief Christine Lagarde, one of the world's most powerful women, announced Wednesday she had been charged with "negligence" over a multi-million-euro graft case relating to her time as French finance minister. The shock announcement came a day after she was grilled for more than 15 hours by a special court in Paris that probes ministerial misconduct, the fourth time she has been questioned in a case that has long weighed upon her position as managing director of the International Monetary Fund. "The investigating commission of the court of justice of the French Republic has decided to place me under formal investigation," she said in exclusive comments to AFP. In France, being placed under formal investigation is the nearest equivalent to being charged, and happens when an examining magistrate has decided there is a case to be answered.

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