2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Consumed by Islamic State, Iraq's Anbar province a key battleground again

    By Ahmed Rasheed, Saif Hameed and Ned Parker BAGHDAD (Reuters) - In recent weeks, the world has watched the battle to save Syria’s border town of Kobani from Islamic State. But the radical jihadists have for longer been engulfing another strategically more vital target - Iraq’s western Anbar province and its road to Baghdad. The vast desert region - where Sunni tribes rose up in 2006 and 2007 to drive out al-Qaeda with the Americans - has throughout 2014 been parcelled up, city by military camp, before the Iraqi government and U.S. forces could act. ...

  • Dr. Oz's 'Magic Weight-Loss Cure' Loses Remaining Support
    Dr. Oz's 'Magic Weight-Loss Cure' Loses Remaining Support

    Green coffee bean extract, which Dr. Mehmet Oz promoted on his show as a "magic weight-loss cure," had one scientific study backing up the extract's purported effects. When asked specifically about the green coffee bean extract, Oz cited a study that found people who took the supplements did lose weight. The green coffee bean manufacturer, Applied Food Sciences Inc., agreed to pay a $3.5 million settlement after the Federal Trade Commission charged the company with using the results of the flawed study to make baseless claims, the agency announced in September. According to the FTC, the Texas-based company paid researchers in India to conduct a clinical trial on overweight people, to test whether their dietary supplement that contained green coffee extract actually held weight-loss benefits.

  • NATO intercepts Russian jets over Baltic Sea
    NATO intercepts Russian jets over Baltic Sea

    HELSINKI (AP) — NATO scrambled fighter jets twice in two days to intercept Russian military aircraft over the Baltic Sea, it said Tuesday amid reports that Russian military activity in the region is increasing.

  • Eric Frein sightings: How 'wilderness ninja' has outfoxed 1,000 cops
    Eric Frein sightings: How 'wilderness ninja' has outfoxed 1,000 cops

    Two fresh sightings of alleged sniper Eric Frein has resulted in more closed public schools in northern Pennsylvania and a shift in a massive manhunt to near where Mr. Frein went to high school – and where he was a member of the high school rifle team.

  • Weather Balloon Used to Launch Couple's Ashes to the Edge of Space
    Weather Balloon Used to Launch Couple's Ashes to the Edge of Space

    John and Lois Lafferty were married later in life but shared a passion for travel and history. So when they passed away, Lois's daughter Misty had the perfect idea for scattering their ashes. Lois and John became the first customers of Mesoloft, which launches ashes via weather balloon high into the Earth's atmosphere. Yes, there actually is a company that offers this service. In a video posted by Mesoloft, whose slogan is "The last adventure," you can see the container, attached to a weather balloon, floating higher and higher into the sky.

  • Actress Daniele Watts charged with lewd conduct
    Actress Daniele Watts charged with lewd conduct

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actress Daniele Watts, who suggested she was detained by police because of racial profiling after she was found in a parked car with her boyfriend, was charged Tuesday with lewd conduct.

  • Fed to Banks: Shape Up or Risk Breakup

    WASHINGTON—Federal Reserve officials sent a warning shot across Wall Street on Monday, telling bank executives they must do more to curb excessive risk-taking and improve employee behavior at their firms or face stiff repercussions, including being broken into smaller pieces. Federal Reserve Gov. Daniel Tarullo and Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley, in closed-door speeches Monday to bank executives gathered at the New York Fed, said Wall Street must clean up its behavior and image, according to copies of their remarks provided by the Fed. The regulators made it clear they aren’t satisfied with bank’s efforts in the six years since the financial crisis shattered public trust in big banks, citing ongoing probes of banks for currency-market and interest-rate manipulation, tax evasion and efforts to skirt international sanctions.

  • Mexico announces reward in hunt for missing students
    Mexico announces reward in hunt for missing students

    Acapulco (Mexico) (AFP) - Mexico's government announced a $110,000 reward for information on the disappearance of 43 students in a case of alleged collusion between a drug gang and police.

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