2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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

    MOSCOW (AP) — 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 at a new round of peace talks.

  • How does a police department lose a Humvee?
    How does a police department lose a Humvee?

    Among the issues that Obama is likely to find is that the program lacks oversight and accountability. Once Pentagon weapons reach the 8,000 police departments that participate in the program, many of them in tiny towns, the federal government has little control over them. The departments are not allowed to sell or dispose of any of the 1033 program's “controlled” items, which include small arms and tactical vehicles. An agency in each state takes over responsibility for checking the inventory once a year and reporting anything missing to the Defense Department’s Defense Logistics Agency.

  • Ronaldo unimpressed by Madrid transfer dealings
    Ronaldo unimpressed by Madrid transfer dealings

    World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo has said he wouldn't have sanctioned the sales of Angel di Maria and Xabi Alonso if he was in charge of Real Madrid. The European champions sorely missed both departed midfielders and the injured Ronaldo as they succumbed to a shock 4-2 defeat at Real Sociedad on Sunday. "If I was in charge, I would not do it like this, but everyone has their opinion and is free to say what they think," Ronaldo said at a sponsor's event on Monday. Mexican international Javier Hernandez became Madrid's fourth summer signing on Monday after agreeing to a season-long loan deal from Manchester United.

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help
    Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea gave foreign media access on Monday to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and — watched by officials as they spoke — called for Washington to send a high-ranking representative to negotiate for their freedom.

  • USING MOTHER TONGUE MAKES FAMILY CONVERSATION DIFFICULT

    DEAR ABBY: My son married an educated professional woman from another country. When their twins were born, my daughter-in-law immersed them in her native language so it would become their mother tongue. Although I understand and respect the benefits of being bilingual, this caused a lot of communication gaps and frustration between us and the grandkids during their early years. They attend a bilingual elementary school now, and their English is superb and communication between us is great. ...

  • California high school drops mascot criticized by Arab-American group

    (Reuters) - A California high school has retired its Middle Eastern-themed mascot and accompanying belly dancers and redrawn its logo after criticism from Arab-Americans that they played on harmful stereotypes, a group advocating for the change said on Monday. Coachella Valley High School agreed to use a new image of a stoic-looking Arab man to represent its sports teams, dubbed "the Arabs," said Abed Ayoub, a spokesman for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which worked with the school to choose the new logo.

  • Drama of mother starving baby grips Venice fest

    By Michael Roddy VENICE (Reuters) - A film portraying New York City mother who starves her baby because she thinks he is saint-like and food contains impurities has caused a stir at the Venice Film Festival for its switch from light romance to painful psychosis. "Hungry Hearts", by Italian director Saverio Costanzo, is one of two Italian films shown so far this week that are among 20 films competing for the top Golden Lion award at the world's oldest film festival. It stars Adam Driver, who will be in the next "Star Wars" series, and Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher as his wife. The film, which was shot for a budget of under 1 million euros ($1.3 million), starts off in rom-com style when Driver's character Jude, who works as an engineer, and Rohrwacher's Mina, who works at the Italian embassy, are both accidentally locked in the toilet of a Chinese restaurant.

  • Russia and NATO square off over Ukraine
    Russia and NATO square off over Ukraine

    Moscow declared NATO a "threat" to its security Tuesday after the Western military alliance announced plans to reinforce defences in eastern Europe because of Russia's alleged stoking of war in Ukraine. Moscow's surprise declaration of a shift in its military doctrine came just ahead of a NATO summit in Wales on Thursday at which beleaguered Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will lobby US President Barack Obama for military help.

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