2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Noodles: Friend or foe? S. Koreans defend diet
    Noodles: Friend or foe? S. Koreans defend diet

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Kim Min-koo has an easy reply to new American research that hits South Korea where it hurts — in the noodles. Drunk and hungry just after dawn, he rips the lid off a bowl of his beloved fast food, wobbling on his feet but still defiant over a report that links instant noodles to health hazards.

  • Sicilian hilltop houses on sale for one euro, great view included
    Sicilian hilltop houses on sale for one euro, great view included

    It's an offer you can't refuse: rustic abodes in a picturesque hilltop village on the island of Sicily, once home to Italian peasants and their donkeys, are up for sale for just one euro. Hewn into the Madonie mountains and dotted throughout the town of Gangi, the houses were left empty after their owners emigrated in the 1920s.

  • U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental Ebola drug
    U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental Ebola drug

    By Rich Mckay ABIDJAN (Reuters) - An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with an experimental drug, his charity said. Dr. Kent Brantly of Texas was given ZMapp, a drug used on a handful of patients in the West African outbreak and produced by U.S.-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical. Brantly, 33, is expected to speak at a news conference on Thursday at Emory University Hospital, where he and U.S. Brantly will leave Emory's hospital after the news conference, a spokesman for the Christian charity Samaritan's Purse said.

  • Consumers winning as Sprint wages price cutting war
    Consumers winning as Sprint wages price cutting war

    Sprint is the latest mobile carrier to slash prices and analysts say more cuts are on the way.

  • Japan mulls building its own fighter jets: report
    Japan mulls building its own fighter jets: report

    Japan is considering building its own fighter jets after years of playing second fiddle in a US construction partnership, a report said Thursday, in a move likely to stoke fears of its military resurgence among Asian neighbours. Japan's attempt in the 1980s to build its first purely domestic fighters since World War II faced US resistance and resulted in joint US-Japan development and production of the F-2, the Nikkei newspaper said. The defence ministry plans to seek about 40 billion yen ($387 million) in state funding for the next year starting in April 2015 to test experimental engines and radar-dodging stealth airframe designs for a purely Japanese fighter, the report said. There is a growing need for Japan to develop a long-haul, highly stealthy fighter jets in face of China's increasing assertiveness in the East China Sea, where the two countries are locked in a dispute over a group of Tokyo-controlled islands, the Nikkei said.

  • Thai army chief named prime minister
    Thai army chief named prime minister

    Thailand's coup leader was elected prime minister Thursday by the kingdom's junta-appointed legislature without a single opposing vote, raising fears of a new era of "strongman" leadership. Army chief General Prayut Chan-O-Cha, 60, who ousted an elected government in a bloodless takeover on May 22, was the only contender for the premiership. "He has taken all the power so I cannot help but worry that we will enter the period of a strongman," said Gothom Arya, a lecturer at Thailand's Mahidol University. "The generals clearly do not plan to restore democracy," said Sunai Phasuk, senior researcher at New York-based Human Rights Watch.

  • A Frame by Frame Analysis of George W. Bush and the Ice Bucket
    A Frame by Frame Analysis of George W. Bush and the Ice Bucket

    George W. Bush, 43rd POTUS, biographer of 41st POTUS, and painter of Google images portraits, joined in on the Ice Bucket Challenge with a Facebook video Wednesday. Nominated by New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, pro golfer Rory McIlroy, San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, and daughter Jenna Bush Hager (where you at, Barbara?), Bush recorded a 48-second video to join in on the cause that's raising awareness and millions in donations for ALS research. After all, we're not getting an Obama Ice Bucket Challenge video.) Bush begins his video by rejecting the Challenge, opting instead to write a check. He's proud of his move. The billowing American flag in the background agrees.

  • Senior Hamas official says group abducted Israeli teens
    Senior Hamas official says group abducted Israeli teens

    By Noah Browning RAMALLAH West Bank (Reuters) - A top Hamas official said members of his militant group kidnapped three Israeli teenagers whose deaths in June provoked a spiral of violence that led to the war in Gaza, the first acknowledgement of the movement's involvement. Hamas, which controls Gaza, has up to now refused to confirm or deny Israeli accusations that it masterminded the abduction and killing of the three young men, one of them a joint U.S.-Israeli citizen, in Hebron. "The popular will was exercised throughout our occupied land, and culminated in the heroic operation by the Qassam Brigades in imprisoning the three settlers in Hebron," he said, referring to Hamas's armed wing. Jewish seminary students Eyal Yifrach, 19, and Gilad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel, both 16, were abducted while hitchhiking in the Israeli occupied West Bank on June 12 and killed.

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