2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • State of Texas seizes ranch of imprisoned polygamist leader

    By Jim Forsyth SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - The sprawling Yearning for Zion Ranch in west Texas, where polygamist leader Warren Jeffs sexually assaulted young girls and justified it by claiming he was the "prophet of God," is now the property of the State of Texas. The Texas Department of Public Safety, which raided the Eldorado, Texas, ranch in April of 2008, said in a statement released on Thursday that the walled compound has been entered by law enforcement officers and "the residents have agreed to vacate the property." Jeffs was convicted of sexual assault in 2011. The statement noted that the state on January 6 secured a forfeiture judgment from the 51st Judicial District Court. "Law enforcement personnel are working with the occupants of the ranch to take all reasonable actions to assist with their departure of the property, to preserve the property, and to successfully execute the court order," the DPS said.

  • Lawyer who defended California gay marriage ban says views evolving after daughter comes out
    Lawyer who defended California gay marriage ban says views evolving after daughter comes out

    Former "Republican lawyer of the year" Charles Cooper says his views on marriage equality have changed after his own daughter became engaged to another woman.

  • Kansas speech by Michelle Obama draws complaints
    Kansas speech by Michelle Obama draws complaints

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — If expanding the guest list to include Michelle Obama at graduation for high school students in the Kansas capital city means fewer seats for friends and family, some students and their parents would prefer the first lady not attend.

  • Man allows 72-year-old who unwittingly bought his stolen car keep it
    Man allows 72-year-old who unwittingly bought his stolen car keep it

    Derk West of Boonville, Indiana had his car stolen and then did something very generous when he could have just taken it back.

  • Ohio teacher fired over comment on black president
    Ohio teacher fired over comment on black president

    CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio teacher has been fired after a black student who said he wanted to become president claimed the teacher told him the nation didn't need another black commander in chief.

  • SpaceX Claims Milestone With Bold Reusable Rocket Test
    SpaceX Claims Milestone With Bold Reusable Rocket Test

    SpaceX's audacious plan to return a rocket to Earth after a space launch today (April 18) may not have gone perfectly, but the company's founder still considers it a success — one that could help lay the foundation for fully reusable rockets in the future.   SpaceX tried to guide the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket back to Earth in an ocean splashdown today during the launch of the company's unmanned Dragon cargo capsule toward the International Space Station. It's still unclear if the rocket stage — outfitted with landing legs — touched down softly as hoped, but billionaire SpaceX founder Elon Musk thinks the odds aren't good. Still, there were some notable successes regardless of what ultimately happened to the rocket stage.

  • FDA Warns Against Hysterectomy Technique That May Spread Cancer
    FDA Warns Against Hysterectomy Technique That May Spread Cancer

    FDA Highlights Cancer Risk with Surgical Procedure

  • Drone diving to record level in Malaysian plane search

    By Byron Kaye PERTH, Australia (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy deep-sea drone is diving to unprecedented depths to scour a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean floor for a missing Malaysian jetliner as the Malaysian government said it may use more remote control submarines to help with the search. The Bluefin-21 and its "side scan" sonar has become the focal point of the search 2,000 km (1,200 miles) west of the Australian city of Perth, where authorities believe Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 hit the ocean after disappearing from radars on March 8 with 239 people on board. Now in its seventh week, the search has centered on a city-sized area where a series of "pings" led authorities to believe the plane's black box may be located. After the $4 million Bluefin-21's searches were frustrated by an automatic safety mechanism which returns it to the surface when it exceeds a depth of 4.5 km (14,763 feet), authorities have adjusted the mechanism and have sent it as deep as 4,695 meters (15,403 feet), a record.

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