2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Can the police really do that?
    Can the police really do that?

    In the days since two reporters were arrested at a Ferguson McDonald’s during fiery protests ignited after a police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old, stunned Americans watching news coverage of officers with combat gear, rifles and tear gas have found themselves asking of police demands and restrictions: Can the cops really do that?

  • Tire makers race to turn dandelions into rubber
    Tire makers race to turn dandelions into rubber

    By Ludwig Burger MUENSTER Germany (Reuters) - Dutch biologist Ingrid van der Meer often meets with disbelief when she talks about her work on dandelions and how it could secure the future of road transport. The reaction is understandable, given most people regard the yellow flowers as pesky intruders in their gardens rather than a promising source of rubber for tires. Her research team is competing with others across the world to breed a type of dandelion native to Kazakhstan whose taproot yields a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. Global tire makers such as industry leader Bridgestone Corp and No.4 player Continental AG believe they are in for rich pickings and are backing such research to the tune of millions of dollars.

  • Israeli-US relations tested once again in Gaza war
    Israeli-US relations tested once again in Gaza war

    JERUSALEM (AP) — When Israel completes its damage assessment from its latest war with Hamas, it may conclude that one of the biggest casualties was its all-important relationship with the United States.

  • US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed
    US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them, the administration disclosed Wednesday.

  • Shakira hit song 'Loca' a copy: judge
    Shakira hit song 'Loca' a copy: judge

    Colombian pop star Shakira's 2010 hit song "Loca" is an illegal copy of a tune written by a Dominican musician in 1998, a US judge said Wednesday in a copyright trial. In a 40-page ruling Judge Alvin Hellerstein said the song was a replication of one written by singer and composer Ramon Arias Vasquez, known as Arias. The song became a hit in the Dominican Republic when it was later performed by another singer, Eduard Edwin Bellou Pou, also known as "El Cata", in 2007. Shakira's 2010 album "Sale el Sol" (The Sun Comes Out), which had both Spanish and English versions of the song based on that by "El Cata" who is also featured in the recording as well as several others on her album.

  • British couple walled into French home by 'neighbours from hell'
    British couple walled into French home by 'neighbours from hell'

    A British couple's dream of a quiet retirement in the sun of southern France turned into a nightmare when their neighbours walled them into their home. Locals in the village of Brugairolles in the foothills of the Pyrenees were so appalled by the immurement, they rose up to rescue the elderly couple, tearing down a wall from the front of the house and ripping open windows and doors that had been nailed shut. "We could not accept that they should continue to live under such terror," declared retired Republican Guard Jeannot Gach, who helped lead the operation to free Faith and John Dyson, both in their 70s, from their home. The Dysons' tormentors were not jealous locals resentful of outsiders pushing up property prices, but another British couple furious that they had apparently trespassed on a shared lane they claimed to own.

  • Teen testifies against pal in rock-throwing case
    Teen testifies against pal in rock-throwing case

    LEWISBURG, Pa. (AP) — One of four young men charged with throwing a rock onto a darkened central Pennsylvania interstate testified Tuesday that they intended to do some damage during a night of mayhem last month but did not anticipate their actions would cause severe injuries to an Ohio teacher.

  • Reporter’s Execution Could Unleash U.S. Against ISIS
    Reporter’s Execution Could Unleash U.S. Against ISIS

    The release Tuesday  of a shocking video showing the brutal beheading of American journalist James Foley by a representative of the Islamic State may wind up backfiring on the Islamic fundamentalist movement that has taken over much of Iraq in recent months. “Obama authorized military operations against the Islamic State effectively placing America upon a slippery slope towards a new war against Muslims,” he said. The man, whose face was covered, also threatened to execute another American journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff, if the U.S.

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