2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • 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.

  • Pilot sentenced for groping teenage girl on flight
    Pilot sentenced for groping teenage girl on flight

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A former Utah airline pilot was sentenced Wednesday to more than two years in prison for groping a 14-year-old girl in the seat next to him during an off-duty flight.

  • U.S. missionary jailed in North Korea feels 'abandoned': paper
    U.S. missionary jailed in North Korea feels 'abandoned': paper

    A U.S. missionary imprisoned in North Korea since 2012 has said he feels abandoned by his government and has appealed again for help in securing his release, a pro-North Korea newspaper reported on Thursday. Kenneth Bae, who is of Korean descent, was arrested in November 2012, convicted and sentenced to 15 years hard labor last year. "Bae said he had heard that the U.S. government is doing everything it can for his release but feels disappointment that there has been no sign of resolution when he is approaching two years in his stay in (the North) and that he feels abandoned by the U.S. government," the Choson Sinbo newspaper said. Bae said he was suffering from illness of the spleen as well as liver, prostate and spinal problems and he asked the United States to send a special envoy to try to secure his release, said the newspaper which is published in Japan but supports the North and reflects its views.

  • 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?
    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.

  • France mulls ban on radical Jewish group
    France mulls ban on radical Jewish group

    France is considering disbanding a radical Jewish group whose members clashed with pro-Palestinian activists during rallies over Israel's offensive in Gaza, a source close to the case told AFP on Thursday. News of the mooted ban on the Jewish Defence League (LDJ) came just ahead of an evening pro-Israel demonstration outside the Jewish state's embassy, located near the French prime minister's office. Police said around 4,500 people joined the rally called by the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF). They were held in response to weeks of pro-Palestinian protests that have been marred by clashes, arrests and allegations of anti-Semitism in which synagogues were targeted and Israeli flags burnt.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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