2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
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- U.S. planes strike militants near Iraq's Amreli, airdrop aid
By Raheem Salman and Matt Spetalnick BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States carried out air strikes on Saturday against Islamic State fighters near the besieged Shi'ite town of Amerli in northern Iraq and airdropped humanitarian aid to civilians trapped there, the Pentagon said. President Barack Obama authorized the new military action, broadening U.S.
- Yoko Ono publicist sues Batali eatery in NYC over 'homophobic' flap
Yoko Ono's publicist is suing Eataly, celebrity chef Mario Batali's New York food emporium, claiming the bouncers at the popular Manhattan eatery shouted homophobic slurs at him and hurled him through a glass window. Kip Kouri suffered a gash on his leg that required stitches, cuts on his head and injuries to both knees in the assault on July 17, his lawyer, Richard Klass, said on Friday. An Eataly spokeswoman denied anyone used homophobic slurs and said security guards had to forcefully remove Kouri from the restaurant, the New York Daily News reported. "While doing so, the whole group banged into the glass window, which crashed, injuring all involved, including our guards," Cristina Villa was quoted as saying in the News story.
- Obama family attends long-time aide's wedding to TV journalist
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their two daughters on Saturday attended the wedding of their long-time friend and food guru Sam Kass to media personality Alex Wagner at a farm outside New York City, the White House said. Kass is officially Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy and executive director of Let's Move, Michelle Obama's child health initiative that seeks to combat childhood obesity. He has a been a friend of and cook for the Obama family since the 2000s, when he began preparing food for the family in their Chicago home. Wagner is the host of "Now with Alex Wagner," a liberal-leaning show in the cable channel MSNBC.
- Polish president warns Germany of Putin's 'empire' ambitions
Polish President Bronis law Komorowski said that Vladimir Putin is trying to build a new Russian empire for Moscow and that the region now had to choose whether it wanted "a Cossack Europe or a democratic one". "Russia has carried out an invasion in Ukraine," the Polish head of state told German public radio, according to excerpts of an interview to be broadcast later on Saturday. Komorowski said Putin was quite open about his ambitions to "rebuild the empire". The Polish president, whose post is largely ceremonial but does give him a say in foreign policy, is an ally of Prime Minister Donald Tusk from the centrist Civic Platform (PO).
- Palestinian leader says Hamas caused prolonged war
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blamed Hamas on Friday for extending fighting with Israel in the Gaza Strip, casting doubt on the future of the Palestinian unity government that the Islamic militant group backs, while Israel's premier said the end of the war could mark resumption of peace talks with Abbas.
- Ukraine rebels prepare attack as EU warns Russia of new sanctions
Pro-Russian separatists were preparing a fresh offensive on a key coastal location in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, as EU leaders gave Moscow one week to curb its support for the rebels or face new sanctions. A ragtag mix of volunteer battalions and local residents were bracing for a desperate defence of Mariupol, a strategic port city and the last big town in the region still under Ukrainian control. The renewed rebel assault of the past week has raised fears in Brussels that the conflict in eastern Ukraine could descend into a "full-scale war" with Russia that risks engulfing the entire continent. The European Union agreed to take "further significant steps" if Moscow did not rein in its support for the rebels, EU President Herman Van Rompuy said on Sunday after a meeting of the bloc's 28 heads of state.
- Car tied to suspected threat against Obama found in Connecticut
By Richard Weizel HAMDEN Conn. (Reuters) - A car sought in connection with a suspected threat against President Barack Obama has been located in Connecticut, authorities said on Saturday. Secret Service, which is responsible for presidential security, had asked state police for help in locating the car in connection with a possible threat to the president, State Police Lieutenant J. Paul Vance said. Both the state police and the Secret Service declined to specify the nature of the threat. The Secret Service, in a statement on Saturday, said that it had investigated information about a suspicious person and vehicle and was working to determine its validity.
- F-16s dispatched for unresponsive pilot of small plane near D.C.
(Reuters) - Two F-16 fighter jets were dispatched to check on a small plane that entered restricted airspace around Washington, D.C., on Saturday, and the fighter pilots observed the person at the controls to be unconscious before the plane ran out of fuel and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, officials said. The pilot of the Cirrus SR22 propeller plane took off from Waukesha County Airport in Wisconsin and had been destined for Manassas Regional Airport in Virginia, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. Coast Guard said in a statement. The pilot had stopped responding to radio calls.