2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Eric Holder Stands By Controversial ‘Nation Of Cowards’ Speech
    Eric Holder Stands By Controversial ‘Nation Of Cowards’ Speech

    In a rare interview covering a wide array of topics, Attorney General Eric Holder said that he would not back away from a controversial speech he gave in 2009 in which he called the United States “a nation of cowards” on the topic of race. In Feb. 2009, in his first speech after taking office, Holder told a crowd gathered at the Justice Department to celebrate Black History Month, “Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.” Those remarks led to vigorous and divisive debate, with critics saying that Holder’s idea of openly discussing racial issues involved a one-way conversation led by the attorney general and the Obama administration. In the interview, Holder also reiterated claims he has made in the past that both he and President Obama are treated differently than their predecessors, partially because of their race.

  • Iraqi factions hit new delay in forming government

    By Ahmed Rasheed and Maggie Fick BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's parliament failed on Sunday to break a political deadlock that is holding up the formation of a new government to tackle an Islamist-led insurgency raging less than 50 miles (80 km) from Baghdad. After a brief session, parliamentary officials put off until Tuesday efforts to reach agreement between Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish politicians on the posts of prime minister, president and parliamentary speaker. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, whose State of Law coalition is the largest individual list in parliament, is seeking a third term but faces opposition from Sunnis and Kurds who say he has ruled for the Shi'ite majority at the expense of minority communities.

  • Snowden attacks British emergency surveillance laws
    Snowden attacks British emergency surveillance laws

    Fugitive US intelligence expert Edward Snowden attacked British plans for emergency laws to allow police and security services greater access to Internet and phone data on Sunday. In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, to whom the former National Security Agency contractor revealed the existence of mass surveillance programmes a year ago, Snowden said the planned laws were "beyond belief". The British parliament is this week due to debate new legislation allowing Internet providers and mobile phone companies to keep details of communications between people in case they are needed in investigations. In April the European Court of Justice threw out an EU law that forced companies to retain data for at least six months, saying it breached the right to privacy.

  • Boeing to launch new 737 MAX with more seats
    Boeing to launch new 737 MAX with more seats

    US aerospace giant Boeing said Sunday it would launch an upgraded version of its 737 MAX airliner with new engines and more seats aimed at low-cost airlines. CEO Ray Conner told journalists at the Farnborough Air Show in Britain that the plane would have around 200 seats in an economy-class configuration. The Boeing 737 MAX planes are a family of mid-range airliners with new more efficient engines that will compete with the new Airbus A320 Neo. The new version will have 11 more seats than the current 737 MAX 8, after the addition of a door on either side of the fuselage to comply with evacuation regulations, Conner said.

  • Swimming Olympian Ian Thorpe reveals he is gay: reports
    Swimming Olympian Ian Thorpe reveals he is gay: reports

    Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe reveals he is gay in an interview set to be broadcast Sunday, according to media reports, after years of denying rumours about his sexuality. The five-time Olympic gold medallist makes the revelation in an interview with British presenter Michael Parkinson due to be aired later Sunday by Australia's Channel Ten, reports said. Fellow Olympic swimmer Stephanie Rice tweeted: "Thorpie is and always will be a superstar in my eyes." Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham, who revealed he was gay in 2008, said he could "totally understand how difficult this whole process has been for him".

  • Retired teacher goes on trial in wife's cliff push
    Retired teacher goes on trial in wife's cliff push

    CAMDEN, Maine (AP) — Charles and Lisa Black moved to Maine after careers as teachers in Kansas, pursuing an idyllic retirement that prosecutors say was destroyed by arguments over money and infidelity before both plummeted off a cliff.

  • Kramer head injury revives concussion concern
    Kramer head injury revives concussion concern

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Germany midfielder Christoph Kramer's head injury in the World Cup final on Sunday has revived concern about the way football deals with concussions.

  • Woods gets early new taste of Royal Liverpool
    Woods gets early new taste of Royal Liverpool

    Tiger Woods was out practicing on Saturday at Royal Liverpool, the venue for next week's 143rd British Open and the course where he won the 2006 title. Woods set out mid-morning in the company of fellow American Patrick Reed who captured this year's WGC-Cadillac Championship in March.

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