2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Becker surprised by criticism of appointment by Djokovic

    (Reuters) - Boris Becker says he was surprised by the level of criticism when world number one Novak Djokovic took him on as his coach last year. The former Wimbledon champion had been seen on television as a commentator but many felt Becker, whose off-court escapades threatened to eclipse his tennis achievements, did not have much to offer the Serbian 15 years after his retirement. "This is a part of sometimes being Boris Becker, being so much in the front row of life, that a lot of people feel like they are entitled to their opinion even though they have no idea about me." The German said he was honored when approached by Djokovic in October, but he has had to be tough. "I was a little bit worried to say the least, I thought Novak was on the ropes - Roger did another Roger." But Djokovic held on to win the fifth set and his seventh major title.

  • Two ancient Mayan cities found in Mexican jungle

    Archaeologists have found two ancient Mayan cities hidden in the jungle of southeastern Mexico, and the lead researcher says he believes there are "dozens" more to be found in the region. Ivan Sprajc, associate professor at the Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, said his team found the ancient cities of Lagunita and Tamchen on the Yucatan peninsula in April by examining aerial photographs of the region.

  • Fleeing Iraqi Christians reveal horror of Islamic State
    Fleeing Iraqi Christians reveal horror of Islamic State

    From the rescue plane which took them on a one-way journey to France, two Iraqi refugees revealed tales of rape and fear at the hands of Islamic State that forced them to flee their homeland with nothing. Rene, who did not want to give his last name, said the Islamic extremists currently rampaging through Syria and Iraq were as terrifying as they were sophisticated in their communication methods. He was one of 40 refugees who landed Thursday in Paris after being flown out of Arbil along with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who indicated that France was prepared to take in more people in "extreme cases."

  • ABC prepping series based on Richard Castle novels
    ABC prepping series based on Richard Castle novels

    Spurred by the success of its crime drama "Castle," the network is developing "Derrick Storm," a new series adapted from the books published under the Richard Castle pen name. While the crime-solving author played by Nathan Fillion is indeed a fictional character, his books actually exist in real life. A series of best-selling novels published under the Richard Castle name follows the adventures of Derrick Storm, a former CIA spy turned private investigator. ABC hopes to cash in on the popularity of its original series and of the books with a new drama on its character's character.

  • Surprise: Obamacare is helping, not harming, traditional healthcare
    Surprise: Obamacare is helping, not harming, traditional healthcare

    Critics were very wrong about this one development.

  • So you think you can shock? Prizes take backseat at MTV awards

    By Piya Sinha-Roy INGLEWOOD Calif. (Reuters) - Blood, buttocks, snakes and angry rants are just some of the surprises served up by the MTV Video Music Awards over the last three decades, and as Sunday's ceremony looms, there is stiff competition to deliver the show's next most outrageous stunt. R&B star Beyonce and newcomer rapper Iggy Azalea lead the nominees at the Video Music Awards, or VMAs, with eight nods each, and winners will receive the "Moonman" statuettes at the newly renovated Forum arena in Inglewood, California. Since launching in 1984, Viacom Inc-owned MTV's VMAs is synonymous with irreverence and unscripted moments. Key moments include Howard Stern baring his derriere as "Fartman" in 1992, Britney Spears' sultry dance with a snake in 2001, and 2009's eventful show where Lady Gaga smeared blood on herself and a ranting Kanye West ripped Taylor Swift's award out of her hand onstage.

  • Kentucky firefighter critical after ice bucket challenge mishap

    A Kentucky firefighter was in critical condition Friday, a day after he and three others were injured when an aerial ladder got too close to a power line when their department doused a university band with water in an "ice bucket" fundraiser. Captain Tony Grider, 41, and firefighter Simon Quinn, 22, from the Campbellsville Fire Department sustained electrocution injuries Thursday morning in a ladder bucket and two other firefighters were hurt coming to their aid, officials said. Grider was listed in critical condition Friday at University of Louisville Hospital and Quinn as stable, the hospital said.

  • Who was customer 379? Starbucks customers 'pay it forward' in Florida for 378 orders
    Who was customer 379? Starbucks customers 'pay it forward' in Florida for 378 orders

    At approximately 7 a.m. on Wednesday, a woman in her mid-60s ordered an iced coffee from the drive-thru at a St. Petersburg, Florida, Starbucks and offered to pay for a caramel macchiato ordered by the person behind her. For the next 11 hours, nearly 400 customers followed suit.

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