2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Several Swiss banks pull out of U.S. tax program: paper

    At least 10 Swiss banks have withdrawn from a U.S. Around 100 Swiss banks came forward at the end of last year to work with U.S. "At least 10 banks that had decided at the end of 2013 to pay a fine have withdrawn their decision," NZZ am Sonntag said, quoting unnamed lawyers and auditors. About a dozen Swiss banks face a U.S.

  • 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.

  • Man dumps liquid nitrogen on his head in most dangerous Ice Bucket Challenge video yet
    Man dumps liquid nitrogen on his head in most dangerous Ice Bucket Challenge video yet

    The band members of Spinal Tap always talked about “the fine line between stupid and clever,” and that’s about all we can think of while watching this latest Ice Bucket Challenge video produced by chemist Muhammad Qureshi, who decided to one-up everyone else who has taken the challenge so far by pouring liquid nitrogen all over his head. FROM EARLIER: Stephen Hawking delivers the most heartwarming Ice Bucket Challenge video yet For those of you who don’t know your science, nitrogen has to be very cold before it becomes a liquid — it has a boiling point of −321 °F and a freezing point of −346 °F, so any liquid nitrogen you encounter will be within that temperature range. Because Qureshi knows what he’s doing, however, he

  • US urges Israel to reverse Palestinian land-grab plan
    US urges Israel to reverse Palestinian land-grab plan

    Israel faced increasing pressure Monday, including from the United States, after saying it plans to expropriate 400 hectares (988 acres) of Palestinian land in the Bethlehem area in the south of the occupied West Bank. Ally Washington, the United Nations and Egypt all called for an urgent rethink after Sunday's announcement, which angered the Palestinians and alarmed Israeli peace campaigners, and comes days after a long-term ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians took hold. "This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve, and construction tender they issue, is counterproductive to Israel's stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians," a US State Department official said.

  • 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. ...

  • Sharapova crashes, Bencic and Federer in Swiss joy at US Open
    Sharapova crashes, Bencic and Federer in Swiss joy at US Open

    Maria Sharapova crashed out of the US Open while 17-year-old Belinda Bencic became the youngest women's quarter-finalist since 1997 giving Switzerland a double boost after Roger Federer had moved into the last-16. Sharapova's defeat at the hands of fellow former world number one Caroline Wozniacki on Sunday meant that only three of the top 10 seeds in the women's draw were left standing after Bencic had taken care of ninth-ranked Jelena Jankovic. On a day of shocks at the US Open, China's Peng Shuai reached her first singles quarter-final at a major by beating experienced Czech Lucie Safarova while, in the men's draw, fourth-seed David Ferrer was defeated by Gilles Simon of France.

  • 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.

  • Parents of ill UK boy fight extradition from Spain
    Parents of ill UK boy fight extradition from Spain

    LONDON (AP) — The parents of a child suffering from a severe brain tumor signaled Monday they would defy efforts to force them to return to Britain, days after their family fled to seek a novel kind of radiation treatment for the 5-year-old boy.

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