2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Comet Siding Spring whizzes past Mars
    Comet Siding Spring whizzes past Mars

    Washington (AFP) - A comet the size of a small mountain and about as solid as a pile of talcum powder whizzed past Mars, dazzling space enthusiasts with the once-in-a-million-years encounter.

  • Israel hospital treats daughter of Palestinian arch-foe
    Israel hospital treats daughter of Palestinian arch-foe

    Jerusalem (AFP) - An Israeli hospital said on Sunday that it has treated a daughter of Gaza Hamas leader Ismail Haniya, who is a sworn enemy of the Jewish state.

  • Goliath Encounter: Puppy-Sized Spider Surprises Scientist in Rainforest
    Goliath Encounter: Puppy-Sized Spider Surprises Scientist in Rainforest

    Piotr Naskrecki was taking a nighttime walk in a rainforest in Guyana, when he heard rustling as if something were creeping underfoot. When he turned on his flashlight, he expected to see a small mammal, such as a possum or a rat.

  • U.S. military says air-drops weapons for Kurdish fighters near Kobani
    U.S. military says air-drops weapons for Kurdish fighters near Kobani

    By Arshad Mohammed and Tom Perry WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) - The U.S. military said it had air-dropped arms to Syrian Kurds battling Islamic State near the Syrian town of Kobani, the first such delivery in more than a month of fighting and a move that could upset Turkey. The U.S. Central Command said it had delivered weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to the Kurds who are trying to stave off an onslaught by Islamic State fighters who have overrun swathes of Syria and Iraq this year. ...

  • New England raking in millions from leaf peepers
    New England raking in millions from leaf peepers

    JAFFREY, N.H. (AP) — On Mount Monadnock, hikers file up the 3,165-foot peak in lockstep, protected from drizzling rain by a luminous golden canopy of leaves. They're not just gazing at foliage — they're looking at cold, hard cash.

  • Hopes fade for 40 missing after Nepal blizzard
    Hopes fade for 40 missing after Nepal blizzard

    KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Hopes faded on Sunday for survivors of one of Nepal's worst mountain disasters as villagers joined an intensive search by troops and government officials for as many as 40 people missing after an unseasonal blizzard killed 39. More than 500 people have been rescued from a route popular with foreign adventure tourists that circles Annapurna, the world's tenth-tallest peak. The survivors included 230 foreigners. Rescuers turned to villagers familiar with the rugged, snow-clad terrain to help look for stranded trekkers. ...

  • Pacquiao underwhelms in winning pro ball debut
    Pacquiao underwhelms in winning pro ball debut

    Manila (AFP) - World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao launched his pro basketball career in the Philippines on Sunday in a scoreless debut spent mostly as a cheerleader.

  • Obama makes rare campaign trail appearance, people leave early
    Obama makes rare campaign trail appearance, people leave early

    By Jeff Mason UPPER MARLBORO Md. (Reuters) - President Barack Obama made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity. With approval levels hovering around record lows, Obama has spent most of his campaign-related efforts this year raising money for struggling Democrats, who risk losing control of the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 4 midterm election. ...

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