2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Britain's Queen Elizabeth sends her first tweet
    Britain's Queen Elizabeth sends her first tweet

    LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Queen Elizabeth made her first foray into the world of social media on Friday when she sent out her inaugural message on Twitter. "It is a pleasure to open the Information Age exhibition today at the @sciencemuseum and I hope people will enjoy visiting. Elizabeth R," the 88-year-old monarch tweeted at the opening of a new gallery at London's Science Museum. The message, sent at 10.35 GMT (6.35 a.m. EDT), had already been re-tweeted more than 4,000 times less than 45 minutes later. ...

  • Has ISIS Crossed a New Red Line?
    Has ISIS Crossed a New Red Line?

    Throughout this unrelenting spate of recent Middle Eastern conflicts, the specter of chemical weapons have spurred the drawing of red lines and the sending of arms. For ISIS, its bloody advance across Iraq and Syria was cause enough to inspire American airstrikes as well as the arming of opposition forces, but now the radical Sunni Islamist group is also being accused of committing attacks using chemical weapons.

  • Extremists launch new attack on Syrian border town
    Extremists launch new attack on Syrian border town

    MURSITPINAR, Turkey (AP) — Fighters from the Islamic State group launched Saturday a new offensive on the northern Syrian town of Kobani after shelling the area from their positions nearby, activists and a Kurdish official said.

  • Dramatic footage shows moment gunman stormed Canada parliament
    Dramatic footage shows moment gunman stormed Canada parliament

    Canadian police have released dramatic surveillance footage showing the moment a gunman suspected of planning to travel to Syria to fight alongside Islamic militants breached security at parliament after shooting dead a soldier. The footage emerged Thursday as officials said they had found no evidence of a wider plot following another deadly attack on Monday -- also by a young Canadian convert to Islam who had sought to leave for Syria. The prospect of more such strikes was at the forefront of many minds in Canada, as a society proud of its reputation for openness and tolerance grappled with a new menace. Canadian authorities were scrambling to probe the background of the young men, the first of whom ran his car over a soldier, killing him, and another who shot the soldier at a war memorial before storming parliament and being gunned down.

  • Zellweger 'new face' highlights Hollywood aging taboo
    Zellweger 'new face' highlights Hollywood aging taboo

    The storm over Renee Zellweger's new-look face has thrown the spotlight on one of Hollywood's eternal questions: how do you grow old in Tinseltown? The "Bridget Jones" star, who won a best supporting actress Oscar in 2004 for "Cold Mountain," appeared unrecognizable at a women in Hollywood awards show earlier this week. She became an instant water-cooler and Twitter trending topic, with endless comments about what plastic surgery or botox she has had done, while others worried about her health. Some denounced Hollywood itself for the pressure it imposes on actresses to meet traditional ideals of beauty.

  • School worker tried to stop Washington shooting
    School worker tried to stop Washington shooting

    MARYSVILLE, Wash. (AP) — A high school worker tried to stop a gunman who opened fire on a crowded lunchroom north of Seattle, killing one girl and badly wounding four others, authorities said Saturday.

  • Islamic State fighters attack crossing as Kurds set to reinforce Kobane
    Islamic State fighters attack crossing as Kurds set to reinforce Kobane

    Islamic State group fighters made a new bid to cut off the Syrian border town of Kobane from neighbouring Turkey Saturday as preparations gathered pace to deploy Iraqi Kurdish reinforcements. The Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq unveiled plans on Friday for up to 200 well-trained peshmerga to join Syrian Kurdish forces defending Kobane in the coming week. Kurdish news agency Rudaw said the first contingent could head to Kobane as early as Sunday but there was no immediate confirmation of that timetable. Peshmerga ministry spokesman Halgord Hekmat declined to specify what route the Iraqi Kurdish forces would take, but they are expected to travel overland through Turkey, which has said it will allow them transit.

  • Lava creeps toward road on Hawaii's Big Island
    Lava creeps toward road on Hawaii's Big Island

    HONOLULU (AP) — A growing lava stream threatening homes and inching closer to a rural road on Hawaii's Big Island oozed forward in fits and starts this week, frustrating some residents but giving officials a window of time to prepare.

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