2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
The standout news & pop obsessions gleaned from your search habits
Top tweets of 2012
Obama, Justin Bieber and Green Bay Packers' TJ Lang have garnered the highest number of retweets this year.
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- 10 Things to Know for Monday
- Russia stoic on sanctions threat, analysts worried
Russia has remained stoic about the threat of tighter Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, but analysts are concerned that the uncertainty they generate could alone choke off growth. The downing of a Malaysian passenger airliner over eastern Ukraine on July 17, which was carrying mostly Dutch passengers, has hardened Western resolve to impose tighter sanctions against Russia. Western leaders have accused the Kremlin of supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine, a charge Moscow denies, including supplying the missiles believed to have brought down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 with the loss of all 298 on board. The purpose of the sanctions is to force Moscow to use its influence with pro-Russian separatists to end fighting in eastern Ukraine.
- Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery
A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate. The giant hole in the remote energy-rich Yamalo-Nenetsky region first came to light in a video uploaded to YouTube that has since been viewed more than seven million times.
- FBI: No arrests yet in scam targeting migrant kids
- 'Please stop!', Pope Francis makes plea for peace
Pope Francis made an emotional plea for peace on Sunday in an impromptu addition to comments delivered at his weekly Angelus address in Saint Peter's Square. As the Argentinian-born pontiff wrapped up his regular address to the faithful, he spoke of the upcoming centenary of the outbreak of World War One and said his thoughts were on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine in particular.
- Israel army in 'detective' hunt for Gaza tunnels
An Israeli colonel likens the hunt for tunnels dug by Palestinian militants from the coastal enclave of Gaza to the work of a detective. There are several pieces to the puzzle, including intelligence and technology," said Lieutenant Colonel Max of the army engineers for the Gaza area. Israel has said uncovering and destroying an apparently sophisticated network of tunnels is a primary goal of its assault unleashed on July 8 in Gaza, particularly its ground invasion. For the first time, the army on Friday gave foreign media access to part of the network, including a tunnel running more than three kilometres (two miles) from southern Gaza's Khan Yunis to near the Israeli kibbutz of Nir-Am.
- Parsing Obama's Phone Call With Netanyahu, Call for Immediate Ceasefire
The diplomatic dance between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, two leaders with a famously testy relationship, continued amid the one of the fastest-growing crises of both of their administrations. In a phone call between the two men on Sunday, President Obama stressed several points, which could be divined in slightly contradictory lights (emphasis mine): The President underscored the United States’ strong condemnation of Hamas’ rocket and tunnel attacks against Israel and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself. The President also reiterated the United States’ serious and growing concern about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives, as well as the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza. Building on Secretary Kerry’s efforts, the President made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement. The President reaffirmed the United States’ support for Egypt’s initiative, as well as regional and international coordination to end hostilities.
- New York Times backs sending federal marijuana ban up in smoke
The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea as it compared the U.S. government's stance on America's most widely used illicit drug to the prohibition on alcohol from 1920 to 1933. The post on the newspaper's website is part of an editorial series that in the coming days will explore different aspects of marijuana use, from health effects to how the criminal justice system treats it.