2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • U.S. forces carry out operation against al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Department of Defense spokesman said. "We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement. Al Shabaab is an Islamist group affiliated with al Qaeda that wants to impose its own strict version of Islam in Somalia. It ruled most of the southern region of Somalia from 2006 until 2011, when African peacekeeping troops marched into the capital, Mogadishu.

  • Florida power utilities fear return of ‘Green Governor' Crist
    Florida power utilities fear return of ‘Green Governor' Crist

    By David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - When Charlie Crist last governed Florida, his green energy and climate policies made him few friends among the state's powerful electricity corporations. Now, as the Republican-turned Democrat bids to return to the governor's mansion, it may be payback time. Florida's three largest utilities have poured money into the re-election campaign of Republican incumbent Governor Rick Scott in an expensive and closely watched political battle for the nation's largest swing state. ...

  • Pro-independence Scots narrow gap to victory ahead of vote: poll

    Support for Scottish independence rose dramatically in August, a poll showed on Monday, leaving the "Yes" campaign just six points behind advocates of staying in the United Kingdom with 17 days to go until a referendum. Pro-independence leader Alex Salmond dominated the second debate last week, having failed to win the first one. A poll for the Sun and the Times newspapers showed support for the pro-independence "Yes" campaign had risen to 47 percent, a four point gain since mid-August and up eight points since the start of the month. The lead of the "No" campaign to reject independence has slumped to 6 points from 22 points at the start of August.

  • 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.

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group's alleged crimes
    UN backs inquiry of IS group's alleged crimes

    GENEVA (AP) — The U.N.'s top human rights body on Monday overwhelmingly approved the Iraqi government's request for an investigation into alleged crimes against civilians committed by the Islamic State group in its rampage across northeastern Syria and parts of Iraq.

  • Fidel Castro compares NATO to Nazis, lashes out at US
    Fidel Castro compares NATO to Nazis, lashes out at US

    Cuban ex-president Fidel Castro lashed out at the United States and Europe on Monday, accusing them of war-mongering and comparing the NATO military alliance's representatives to the Nazi SS. In a tortuous column published in Cuban state media, the father of the island's communist revolution also attacked US Senator John McCain over United States policy in the Middle East, calling him "Israel's most unconditional ally."

  • Islamic State group becomes target of Arab satire
    Islamic State group becomes target of Arab satire

    BAGHDAD (AP) — The bumbling young militant first drops the rocket launcher on the toes of his boss before taking aim and firing toward a military checkpoint outside of an Iraqi town — not realizing he's fired it backward at his leader.

  • Pro-Russian rebels lower demands in peace talks
    Pro-Russian rebels lower demands in peace talks

    Pro-Russian rebels softened their demand for full independence Monday, saying they would respect Ukraine's sovereignty in exchange for autonomy — a shift that reflects Moscow's desire to strike a deal ...

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