2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Sierra Leone declares emergency as Ebola death toll hits 729
    Sierra Leone declares emergency as Ebola death toll hits 729

    By Umaru Fofana FREETOWN (Reuters) - Sierra Leone declared a state of emergency and called in troops to quarantine Ebola victims on Thursday, joining neighbouring Liberia in imposing tough controls as the death toll from the worst-ever outbreak of the virus hit 729 in West Africa. The World Health Organisation said it was in urgent talks with donors and international agencies to deploy more medical staff and resources to one of the world's poorest regions. The WHO reported 57 new deaths between July 24 and July 27 in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Authorities in Nigeria, which recorded its first Ebola case last week when a U.S. citizen died after arriving on a flight from Liberia, said all passengers travelling from areas at risk would be temperature-screened for the virus.

  • Say 'cheese' (and a few four-letter words): Sky divers leap from 33,000 feet

    Two French sky divers leapt from a plane, about 33,000 feet in the air, and captured this breathtaking photo.

  • AP Analysis: Putin cornered over Ukraine
    AP Analysis: Putin cornered over Ukraine

    MOSCOW (AP) — For Russian President Vladimir Putin, there are few options left in the Ukraine crisis and they all look bad.

  • John Kerry's passage to India. Why is he going now?

    After a bruising week of shuttle diplomacy that failed to broker a cease-fire to the Gaza conflict, Mr. Kerry landed yesterday in India for two days of talks with the new Narendra Modi government. It’s the first visit of a high ranking US official to India since Prime Minister Modi and his right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to a landslide victory in May, and is designed to pave the way for the Indian leader's visit to the United States in September.  He will need to assuage hurt feelings over revelations that the NSA spied on the BJP, and also press India over its holdup of new global trade regulations. “The catechism of an 'indispensable partnership' with India that US Secretary of State John Kerry repeated during [a speech before he arrived in New Delhi] cannot cover up the loss of faith that has crept into the relationship between the two countries,” wrote Siddharth Varadarajan, a senior fellow at the Centre for Public Affairs in New Delhi in a column in India’s NDTV.

  • U.S., U.N. announce deal on 72-hour Gaza cease-fire
    U.S., U.N. announce deal on 72-hour Gaza cease-fire

    Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire beginning Friday, during which time there will be negotiations on a more durable truce in the 24-day-old Gaza war, the United States and United Nations announced Thursday.

  • Colorado nurse sues after being a 'hostage' in armed gunman drill

    By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - A Colorado woman is suing the nursing home where she worked and local police for allegedly not telling her that a gunman who held her hostage was a police officer conducting a safety drill, court documents show. Michelle Meeker claims in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Denver that she was terrorized when an armed man confronted her last October at the Heritage Park Care Center in Carbondale, Colorado. Meeker, a registered nurse, was tending to one of her long-term patients when another employee told her to see what a "suspicious" man sitting in the center's day room wanted, according to the complaint. Although the man told her in hushed tones that he was a police officer, the lawsuit says, Meeker was not informed beforehand of the drill and was unsure whether he was telling the truth.

  • Obama to GOP: 'Stop just hating all the time'
    Obama to GOP: 'Stop just hating all the time'

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Pointing the finger at Republicans for congressional inaction, President Barack Obama chided lawmakers Wednesday for spending the waning days before their month-long summer break trying to sue him rather than addressing economic issues that could boost the middle class.

  • Fighting erupts after start of Gaza ceasefire
    Fighting erupts after start of Gaza ceasefire

    By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A Gaza ceasefire was in jeopardy just hours after it began on Friday, with the Islamist group Hamas saying Israeli tank fire killed four people and Israel accusing militants of violating the truce. The 72-hour break announced in a joint statement by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was the most ambitious attempt so far to end more than three weeks of fighting, and followed mounting international alarm over a rising Palestinian civilian death toll. Israel launched its offensive in Hamas Islamist-dominated Gaza on July 8, unleashing air and naval bombardments in response to a surge of cross-border rocket attacks. Three civilians have been killed by Palestinian rockets in Israel.

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