2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
The standout news & pop obsessions gleaned from your search habits
Our favorite red carpet moments of 2012.
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- Hubble Telescope Spies Gorgeous Galactic 'String of Pearls' (Photos, Video)
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a strange celestial "string of pearls" wrapped around the hearts of two merging elliptical galaxies. The curly string is about 100,000 light-years long and sports blue "pearls" — actually huge young star clusters — every 3,000 light-years along the way, researchers said. "We were surprised to find this stunning morphology," study leader Grant Tremblay, of the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany, said in a statement. "We've long known that the 'beads on a string' phenomenon is seen in the arms of spiral galaxies and in tidal bridges between interacting galaxies.
- Road Melts from Yellowstone Volcano's Heat
Part of Firehole Lake Drive, a scenic one-way road off of Yellowstone's main loop, was shut down for repairs when oil bubbled to the surface, damaging the blacktop, the Park Service said in a statement. The closure doesn't affect the Grand Loop Road, which sees 20,000 visitors per day during the summer. Park spokesman Dan Hottle told Live Science that Firehole Lake Drive's surface hit 160 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius) on Thursday, about 30 degrees to 40 degrees F (17 to 22 degrees C) hotter than usual. The park has previously closed Firehole Lake Drive for repairs due to heat damage, Hottle said.
- THE WORST PRESIDENT?
A reputable poll shows that the public believes Barack Obama is the worst president since World War II. Worse than Richard M. Nixon, driven from the presidency by Watergate? Obama is in trouble, no matter how carefully you peel through the Quinnipiac University poll that is causing such a firestorm.
- His agenda in gridlock, Obama relishes roadshow
- Texas shooting suspect had faced other charges
- Apple iPhone a danger to China national security: state media
Chinese state media branded Apple Inc's iPhone a threat to national security because of the smartphone's ability to track and time-stamp user locations. A report by broadcaster CCTV on Friday criticized the iPhone's "Frequent Locations" function for allowing users to be tracked and information about them revealed. Apple said in a statement sent to Reuters on Saturday that it was committed to protecting the privacy of its users, and that no unique information related to the user or the device was transmitted when using the location functions. We want to make sure all of our customers in China are clear about what we do and we don't do when it comes to privacy and your personal data," it said.
- From New York to China in two hours: how billionaires are revolutionizing flying
- Ukraine jets pound rebels after deadly missile attack
By Richard Balmforth and Natalia Zinets KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian war planes bombarded separatists along a broad front on Saturday, inflicting huge losses, Kiev said, after President Petro Poroshenko said "scores and hundreds" would be made to pay for a deadly missile attack on Ukrainian forces. In exchanges marking a sharp escalation in the three-month conflict, jets struck at the "epicenter" of the battle against rebels near the border with Russia, a military spokesman said. Warplanes also struck at targets near Donetsk, the east's main town where rebels have dug in, destroying a powerful fighter base near Dzerzhinsk, Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the "anti-terrorist operation" said. In an earlier air attack on a base near Perevalsk, north of Donetsk, two tanks, 10 armored vehicles and "about 500" rebel fighters were destroyed, he said.