2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Israel vows crackdown after Palestinian car attack
    Israel vows crackdown after Palestinian car attack

    Israel pledged Thursday a tough response to any further attacks in Jerusalem as police flooded flashpoint Arab neighbourhoods after a Palestinian rammed his car into a group of pedestrians and killed a baby. The second deadly incident involving a Palestinian vehicle in three months, Wednesday's attack prompted a sharp warning from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "Jerusalem is united and was, and always will be, the eternal capital of Israel. Police dubbed as a "hit-and-run terror attack" Wednesday's incident in which Abdelrahman Shaludi, 21, drove at high speed into a crowd of Israelis, killing the baby and injuring another six people.

  • Easter Island's ancient inhabitants weren't so lonely after all
    Easter Island's ancient inhabitants weren't so lonely after all

    By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - They lived on a remote dot of land in the middle of the Pacific, 2,300 miles (3,700 km) west of South America and 1,100 miles (1,770 km) from the closest island, erecting huge stone figures that still stare enigmatically from the hillsides. But the ancient Polynesian people who populated Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, were not as isolated as long believed. ...

  • Heads roll in Russia as more details emerge of Total crash
    Heads roll in Russia as more details emerge of Total crash

    Top Russian airport officials quit on Thursday as more employees were detained over the Moscow plane crash that killed the CEO of French oil giant Total. The driver of the snowplough that collided with Total boss Christophe de Margerie's plane as it was taking off from Moscow's Vnukovo airport late Monday was also ordered to be held for two months behind bars for further questioning. "The investigation suggests that these people did not respect the norms of flight security and ground operations, which led to the tragedy," said the powerful Investigative Committee in charge of the probe. Vnukovo airport also said its general director and his deputy had resigned "due to the tragic event" after the management was accused of "criminal negligence" by investigators.

  • California community suffers as wells dry up in drought

    By Lucy Nicholson East Porterville Calif. (Reuters) - In one of the towns hardest hit by California's drought, the only way some residents can get water to flush the toilet is to drive to the fire station, hand-pump water into barrels and take it back home. The trip has become a regular ritual for East Porterville residents Macario Beltran, 41, and his daughters, who on a recent evening pumped the water into containers in the bed of his old pickup truck to be used for bathing, dish washing and flushing. ...

  • U.S. weighs passport, border changes in wake of Ottawa attack

    By Mark Hosenball and Warren Strobel WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. officials are debating whether to tighten controls on the border with Canada and make it easier to revoke the passports of suspected militants, steps that could gain traction following two attacks in Canada this week. The officials cautioned on Thursday that the discussions are in preliminary stages and that no immediate action appeared likely by either U.S. President Barack Obama's administration or Congress. ...

  • Oldest High-Altitude Human Settlement Discovered in Andes
    Oldest High-Altitude Human Settlement Discovered in Andes

    The oldest-known evidence of humans living at extremely high altitudes has been unearthed in the Peruvian Andes, archaeologists say. The sites — a rock shelter with traces of Ice Age campfires and rock art, and an open-air workshop with stone tools and fragments — are located nearly 14,700 feet (4,500 meters) above sea level and were occupied roughly 12,000 years ago. "Either they genetically adapted really, really fast — within 2,000 years — to be able to settle this area, or genetic adaptation isn't necessary at all," said lead study author Kurt Rademaker, who was a University of Maine visiting assistant professor in anthropology when he conducted the study. At that time, Rademaker and his colleagues were studying a 13,000-year-old Paleoindian fishing settlement on the coast of Peru called Quebrada Jaguay.

  • Ukraine leader's bloc holds election lead, Tymoshenko threatened: poll

    By Richard Balmforth KIEV (Reuters) - President Petro Poroshenko's bloc holds a big lead ahead of Ukraine's election on Sunday while a rising populist party looks set to take second place, an opinion poll showed on Wednesday. A surge in support for the Radical Party of populist Oleh Lyashko, the champion of government troops and scourge of super-wealthy oligarchs, threatens former prime minister Julia Tymoshenko's chances of winning a seat in the new parliament, according to the survey by the Democratic Initiative Foundation. ...

  • Aretha Franklin's Press Tour Goes Hilariously Bad
    Aretha Franklin's Press Tour Goes Hilariously Bad

    Eyebrow raising, eye rolling, and awkward pauses are not things news anchors hope to get out of guests during interviews. Aretha Franklin doesn't do a whole lot of interviews on live television, and now we might know why. During a recent press tour via satellite for her new album, "Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics," the Queen of Soul spoke to dozens of television news anchors, and to put it simply, it went really — and we mean really — badly. There were some audio delays and earpiece issues mixed with what Aretha calls a lack of sleep, telling a Fox 45 morning news anchor, "Listen I only had four hours sleep, OK? I'm a little slow."

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