2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • N. Korea may be closer to full ICBM test: US think-tank
    N. Korea may be closer to full ICBM test: US think-tank

    Fresh satellite images suggest North Korea might be wrapping up engine trials on an intercontinental ballistic missile, fuelling speculation of a full-scale flight test to come, a US think-tank said Wednesday. Development of a working ICBM would be a game-changing step, bringing the continental United States into range and adding a whole new threat level to the North's regular nuclear-strike warnings. "The rocket engine test program may wind down by the end of this year," The US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said on its closely followed 38 North website. Regular satellite analysis has shown a major construction programme underway at North Korea's Sohae Satellite Launching Station since mid-2013, focused on upgrading facilities to handle larger, longer-range rockets with heavier payloads.

  • Israeli troops, using sniffer dogs and robots, hunt for Gaza tunnels
    Israeli troops, using sniffer dogs and robots, hunt for Gaza tunnels

    By Dan Williams GAZA STRIP (Reuters) - Israeli Colonel Tomer was literally tipped off to the tunnel snaking under a Palestinian village when the tank-churned earth gave way under the weight of one of his behemoth bulldozers. Then explosives would be dropped in and the network destroyed as part of a tunnel-hunt throughout the Gaza Strip's eastern frontier that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says will be completed, whether or not Israel reaches a ceasefire with the territory's dominant Hamas Islamists. There is too much risk of booby traps," Tomer, who under military rules can be identified only by his first name, told a Reuters correspondent invited by the army to view his force's operations. Were the troops to track the tunnel in the other direction they would end up 2 km (1.2 miles) deeper in Gaza, in the middle of a bustling neighborhood, Tomer said.

  • White House condemns shelling of U.N. school in Gaza

    By Mark Felsenthal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House condemned the shelling on Wednesday of a United Nations school in Gaza that local authorities estimated killed at least 15 Palestinians sheltering there. "We are extremely concerned that thousands of internally displaced Palestinians who have been called on by the Israeli military to evacuate their homes are not safe in U.N. designated shelters in Gaza," White House National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said.  "We also condemn those responsible for hiding weapons in United Nations facilities in Gaza." The head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which runs the school, said the organization's initial assessment was that Israeli artillery had hit the building.

  • Meowsachusetts: Where the cats play and dogs stay away
    Meowsachusetts: Where the cats play and dogs stay away

    Massachusetts is the cat's meow for feline lovers.

  • List of Hamas demands, and why Israel unlikely to accept them
    List of Hamas demands, and why Israel unlikely to accept them

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Hamas rulers have presented a list of demands to stop their fire on Israel in the Gaza war. Israel has said it doesn't want to reward Hamas for its rocket campaign, but has other reasons to oppose the demands — mostly based on security.

  • Man with face transplant models for GQ
    Man with face transplant models for GQ

    In 1997, when Richard Norris was 22 years old, he accidentally shot himself in the face. Norris survived the incident, but his face was destroyed, as was his willingness to venture outdoors and engage with the world. And then, everything changed.

  • Fast-food workers win small battle against McDonald’s
    Fast-food workers win small battle against McDonald’s

    Fast-food workers and labor groups agitating on their behalf may have just won a minor battle in the war for higher wages. A ruling came from the general council of the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday that McDonald's could be held jointly liable for labor and wage violations by its franchisees, allowing the company to be treated as a joint employer with them. Yahoo Finance's Henry Blodget makes the case that fast food restaurants and low wage retailers like Walmart should pay workers more.

  • Bellagio robbery suspect is convict from Kansas
    Bellagio robbery suspect is convict from Kansas

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — The suspect arrested in an armed robbery at the Bellagio casino was identified late Tuesday as a Kansas man with a criminal record who allegedly celebrated after the heist with prostitutes and a spending spree on the Las Vegas Strip.

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