2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Afghan candidate threatens boycott of vote audit
    Afghan candidate threatens boycott of vote audit

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — One of the two men vying to become Afghanistan's next president is threatening to boycott a ballot audit from the country's disputed presidential runoff, his adviser said Tuesday, a development that could further disrupt the already troubled process.

  • Maidana dares Mayweather to 'fight like a man'
    Maidana dares Mayweather to 'fight like a man'

    Painting unbeaten champion Floyd Mayweather as an evasive coward in the ring, Argentine challenger Marcos Maidana called out his rival Tuesday ahead of their world welterweight title rematch next month. Mayweather, who won a majority decision over his South American rival in May, faces Maidana again on September 13 in Las Vegas for the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council titles. "I'm going to be on him from the opening bell," Maidana said. Mayweather, 46-0 with 26 knockouts, began his "crying" on the eve of the first fight when a protest about the lack of front padding in the gloves Maidana planned to use and has also taunted his rival as a dirty fighter who uses mixed martial arts tactics.

  • Gaza cease-fire holds as sides weigh gains
    Gaza cease-fire holds as sides weigh gains

    JERUSALEM (AP) — An open-ended cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip was holding Wednesday, as many people on both sides of the conflict wondered what was gained during 50 days of fighting.

  • Exclusive: In Ukraine, an armored column appears out of nowhere
    Exclusive: In Ukraine, an armored column appears out of nowhere

    By Christian Lowe and Maria Tsvetkova MOSCOW/ NOVOAZOVSK Ukraine (Reuters) - On Monday, a resident of Novoazovsk in south-eastern Ukraine said she saw a column of armored vehicles approach the town and start shooting. "Right now I can hear rumbling, explosions ... the residents are hiding." In Kiev later that morning, Ukrainian officials said the column was an incursion by Russian troops which it alleges are fighting alongside pro-Moscow separatists, a claim Russia quickly dismissed as disinformation. On Tuesday, in a continuation of the pattern, Kiev said it had captured a group of Russian soldiers who had entered Ukraine on a "special mission", while Moscow said they were there by mistake.

  • Ukraine's PM says Russia has plans to block gas flows to Europe

    KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday that Kiev knew of plans by Russia to halt gas flows this winter to Europe. "The situation in (Ukraine's) energy sector is difficult. We know of Russia's plans to block (gas) transit even to European Union countries this winter," he told a government meeting. Last year, half of Russian gas exports to the EU were shipped via Ukraine. Russian gas exporter Gazprom and the Energy Ministry were not immediately available for comments. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin)

  • Rebels take Syria crossing with Israel-occupied Golan: NGO
    Rebels take Syria crossing with Israel-occupied Golan: NGO

    Syrian rebels, including Al-Qaeda's affiliate Al-Nusra Front, seized control of the Syrian crossing with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Wednesday, a monitoring group said. "Al-Nusra Front and other rebel groups took the Quneitra crossing, and heavy fighting with the Syrian army is continuing in the surrounding area," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. "In response to the errant fire from the internal fighting in Syria, which hit Israel earlier today and injured an IDF (Israel Defence Forces) officer, the IDF just targeted two Syrian army positions in the Syrian Golan Heights.

  • Experts: More facts needed on purported audio recording of Michael Brown shooting
    Experts: More facts needed on purported audio recording of Michael Brown shooting

    Two of the nation’s leading experts on the use of deadly force by the police warn against overreaction to an audio recording that purportedly captures the sound of the gunshots that killed Michael Brown.

  • Conflicts weighing heavily on German consumers

    BERLIN (AP) — A closely-watched survey shows economic expectations among German consumers have "completely collapsed" over concerns about the conflicts in Iraq, Israel and Ukraine.

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