2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Pro-independence Scots narrow gap to victory ahead of vote: poll

    Support for Scottish independence rose dramatically in August, a poll showed on Monday, leaving the "Yes" campaign just six points behind advocates of staying in the United Kingdom with 17 days to go until a referendum. Pro-independence leader Alex Salmond dominated the second debate last week, having failed to win the first one. A poll for the Sun and the Times newspapers showed support for the pro-independence "Yes" campaign had risen to 47 percent, a four point gain since mid-August and up eight points since the start of the month. The lead of the "No" campaign to reject independence has slumped to 6 points from 22 points at the start of August.

  • California high school drops mascot criticized by Arab-American group

    (Reuters) - A California high school has retired its Middle Eastern-themed mascot and accompanying belly dancers and redrawn its logo after criticism from Arab-Americans that they played on harmful stereotypes, a group advocating for the change said on Monday. Coachella Valley High School agreed to use a new image of a stoic-looking Arab man to represent its sports teams, dubbed "the Arabs," said Abed Ayoub, a spokesman for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which worked with the school to choose the new logo.

  • Islamic State group becomes target of Arab satire
    Islamic State group becomes target of Arab satire

    BAGHDAD (AP) — The bumbling young militant first drops the rocket launcher on the toes of his boss before taking aim and firing toward a military checkpoint outside of an Iraqi town — not realizing he's fired it backward at his leader.

  • $55 worth of awesome paid iPhone apps you can now download for free (7 apps total)
    $55 worth of awesome paid iPhone apps you can now download for free (7 apps total)

    It’s Labor Day, and what better way to celebrate than by downloading a bunch of great paid iPhone and iPad apps for free? We’re starting off September on the right foot with seven nifty paid iOS apps that are all on sale for free for a very limited time. See anything you like? You’d better hurry, because these awesome sales could be over at any time. As a side note, there are still a few freebies from our last post in this series, and you can get them now if you hustle. These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way to tell how long

  • Ukraine accuses Russia of 'undisguised aggression' as rebels advance

    By Pavel Polityuk and Polina Devitt KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia on Monday of "direct and undisguised aggression" which he said had radically changed the battlefield balance as Kiev's forces suffered a further reverse in their war with pro-Moscow separatists. In the latest in a string of setbacks in the past week, Ukraine's military said it had pulled back from defending a vital airport in the east of the country, near the city of Luhansk, where troops had been battling a Russian tank battalion. Poroshenko said in a speech there would be high-level personnel changes in the Ukrainian armed forces, whose troops fled a new rebel advance in the south which Kiev and its Western allies say has been backed up by Russian armored columns. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called on Sunday for immediate negotiations on the "statehood" of southern and eastern Ukraine, blamed Kiev's leadership for refusing to enter into direct political talks with the separatists.

  • Man dumps liquid nitrogen on his head in most dangerous Ice Bucket Challenge video yet
    Man dumps liquid nitrogen on his head in most dangerous Ice Bucket Challenge video yet

    The band members of Spinal Tap always talked about “the fine line between stupid and clever,” and that’s about all we can think of while watching this latest Ice Bucket Challenge video produced by chemist Muhammad Qureshi, who decided to one-up everyone else who has taken the challenge so far by pouring liquid nitrogen all over his head. FROM EARLIER: Stephen Hawking delivers the most heartwarming Ice Bucket Challenge video yet For those of you who don’t know your science, nitrogen has to be very cold before it becomes a liquid — it has a boiling point of −321 °F and a freezing point of −346 °F, so any liquid nitrogen you encounter will be within that temperature range. Because Qureshi knows what he’s doing, however, he

  • Ukraine defence minister warns of 'great war' with Russia
    Ukraine defence minister warns of 'great war' with Russia

    Ukraine's defence minister warned on Monday that a "great war" had broken out with Russia over his country's future that could claim tens of thousands of lives. "A great war has arrived at our doorstep -- the likes of which Europe has not seen since World War II. Unfortunately, the losses in such a war will be measured not in the hundreds but thousands and tens of thousands," Valeriy Geletey wrote in a Facebook post. Russia on Monday again denied either sending or planning to send troops into eastern Ukraine to help separatist rebels pursue their recent counteroffensive against the pro-Western government's forces. Geletey wrote on Monday that "hundreds of Russian soldiers and officers have permanently entered Ukraine's (eastern) 'black earth' region."

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group's alleged crimes
    UN backs inquiry of IS group's alleged crimes

    GENEVA (AP) — The U.N.'s top human rights body on Monday overwhelmingly approved the Iraqi government's request for an investigation into alleged crimes against civilians committed by the Islamic State group in its rampage across northeastern Syria and parts of Iraq.

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