2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Saudi king warns West will be jihadists' next target
    Saudi king warns West will be jihadists' next target

    King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has warned that the West will be the next target of the jihadists sweeping through Syria and Iraq, unless there is "rapid" action. "Terrorism knows no border and its danger could affect several countries outside the Middle East," said the king who was speaking at a welcoming ceremony on Friday for new ambassadors, including a new envoy from Saudi ally the United States. The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group has prompted widespread concern as it advances in both Syria and Iraq, killing hundreds of people, including in gruesome beheadings and mass executions. President Barack Obama has yet to decide whether the United States should launch raids against positions held by the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria to follow US air strikes on IS activities in Iraq.

  • Iraq breaks months-long jihadist siege
    Iraq breaks months-long jihadist siege

    Iraqi forces, aided by US air strikes, have broken through to the jihadist-besieged Shiite town of Amerli where thousands have been trapped for over two months with dwindling food and water supplies. It is the biggest offensive success for the Iraqi government since militants led by the Sunni jihadist group Islamic State (IS) overran large areas of five provinces in June, sweeping security forces aside. The breakthrough came on Sunday as the United States carried out limited strikes in the area, the first time it has expanded its more than three-week air campaign against militants outside of Iraq's north.

  • Ukraine: rebels fire on border guard vessel
    Ukraine: rebels fire on border guard vessel

    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday called on Ukraine to immediately start talks on a political solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

  • Zaha helps Warnock mark Palace return in style
    Zaha helps Warnock mark Palace return in style

    Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha celebrated his return to the club with a stoppage-time equaliser as Neil Warnock began his second spell in charge with a dramatic 3-3 draw against Newcastle on Saturday. Warnock's first act after returning as Palace manager in midweek was to sign Zaha on loan from Manchester United and the England international quickly repaid that faith on his debut at St James' Park. Warnock, hired to replace Tony Pulis, rubbished those rumours when he re-signed Zaha and he received an instant reward when the winger came off the bench to strike in the fifth minute of stoppage-time.

  • Aftershock hits California's Napa Valley

    (Reuters) - California's Napa Valley, the site of a strong and damaging earthquake a week ago, was shaken by a small aftershock early on Sunday. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, measuring magnitude 3.2, occurred five miles southwest of Napa. There were no immediate reports of damage. It was one of many aftershocks that have occurred since Aug. 24 when a magnitude 6.0 quake struck, the biggest to hit California's Bay Area in 25 years, injuring more than 200 people and damaging dozens of buildings. ...

  • N. Korea slams UK TV show on its nukes as 'hideous farce'
    N. Korea slams UK TV show on its nukes as 'hideous farce'

    North Korea Sunday slammed a new British TV drama series revolving around its nuclear weapons programme, urging the British government to scrap the "slanderous farce" if it wants to maintain diplomatic ties. "Opposite Number" -- a series commissioned by Channel 4 -- features a British nuclear scientist captured in the North during a covert mission and forced to help weaponise its nuclear technology. The 10-part series will take viewers inside the "closed worlds of North Korea" with "opposing CIA and MI6 agents secretly deployed on the ground in Pyongyang, as the clock ticks on a global-scale nuclear crisis", Channel 4 said on its website. The TV show is "nothing but a slanderous farce" to insult and distort the North's nuclear capability, said the country's top military body, the National Defence Commission (NDC).

  • As Islamic State fighters begin to blend in, defeating them no easy matter
    As Islamic State fighters begin to blend in, defeating them no easy matter

    By Isabel Coles and Peter Apps BAQIRTA Iraq/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - After their lightning takeover in June, flag-waving Islamic State militants paraded through the captured Iraqi city of Mosul in looted U.S.-built Humvees, armored cars and pickup trucks mounted with heavy machine guns. Today, many have ditched military-type vehicles that could make them easy targets of U.S. It is unclear how the Islamic State’s tactics will further change as a result of the reclaiming of the strategic Mosul Dam by Iraqi government and Kurdish forces or Sunday’s dramatic retaking of Amerli, where thousands had been cut off from food and water, but clearly battlefield strategies are involving on both sides.

  • Sweden discovers suspected case of Ebola: official
    Sweden discovers suspected case of Ebola: official

    A suspected case of the Ebola virus has been discovered in the Swedish capital Stockholm, a local official told AFP on Sunday. Aake Oertsqvist, a specialist in infection control responsible for the Stockholm area, was quoted as saying the risk of an Ebola outbreak in Sweden was "very low".

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