2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
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Our favorite red carpet moments of 2012.
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- Vonn back as Hoefl-Riesch tops downhill training
Val-d'Isère (France) (AFP) - American speed queen Lindsey Vonn was back in World Cup action on Wednesday, comfortably completing downhill training in Val d'Isere. In her fight to regain full fitness in time to defend her Olympic downhill title, Vonn opted out of competing at St Moritz last weekend after returning to competition at Lake Louise in the first week of December. In Canada she showed steady progress over three races in her first starts since reconstructive surgery on her right knee after a crash at the World Championships in Schladming last February. Vonn finished in 12th spot on Wednesday, 1.23sec off the lead time of 1min 49.30sec set by Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch, who won back-to-back downhills in Lake Louise.
- BA eases curbs on handheld devices during take-off
British Airways is to become the first airline in Europe to allow their passengers to keep their phones and tablet computers switched on throughout their journey, the company said on Wednesday. Although travelers will still not be allowed to text or make phone calls, the agreement with Britain's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) lifts the current restrictions that require devices to be turned off until the aircraft is airborne and again when the aircraft is about to land. Customers will, however, still have to put devices into "flight safe" mode, which disables texts, phonecalls and network access, the airline said. "We know that our customers want to use their handheld electronic devices more, so this will be very welcome news for them," said Captain Ian Pringle, flight training manager at British Airways.
- Store owner told she'll get $1M for selling winning Mega Millions ticket, only she isn't
- The 'Affluenza' Teen Might End Up in Jail After All
Ethan Couch, the 16-year-old whose "affluenza" defense got him the amazingly light sentence of just 10 years probation for killing four people in a drunk driving accident, may go to jail yet. Couch, whose blood alcohol level was 0.24 (three times the legal limit for an adult of legal drinking age, which Couch is not), has been charged with their injuries as well, and prosecutors in that case will ask that he be given prison time, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: 'During his recent trial, the 16-year-old admitted his guilt in four cases of intoxication manslaughter and two cases of intoxication assault,' [Tarrant County District Attorney Joe] Shannon said in an email to the Star-Telegram. 'There has been no verdict formally entered in the two intoxication assault cases.
- Smart Snowplows Aim to Make White Winters Safer
In a push to save money and lives this winter, four U.S. states are dispatching smart snowplows to gather road and weather conditions in almost real-time. The system integrates GPS-coded measurements from sensors on the snowplows with computer weather models and satellite and radar observations to produce updates every five to 15 minutes about road and weather conditions. These detailed, close to real-time snapshots are then relayed to transportation officials in the hope that they will be able to target the most dangerous stretches of highway before accidents happen. "We want to reduce that white-knuckle experience of suddenly skidding on ice," scientist Sheldon Drobot, who oversees the design of the system at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., said in a statement.
- Hilarious video leads to unexpected sale of 17-year-old car
Here's proof that a good pitch can sell anything... even a 17-year-old Nissan sedan.
- Filipina crowned Miss International in Japan
A Philippine beauty queen has been crowned Miss International in a pageant marred by allegations of intimidation that kept her predecessor away -- pledging to use her title to help victims of the country's devastating typhoon. Thank you Japan for giving it to me," an ecstatic Bea Rose Santiago said at the event, held late Tuesday in Tokyo. "I really wanted to meet her," the new beauty queen said. Outgoing title-holder Japanese Ikumi Yoshimatsu told foreign journalists this week in Tokyo that she had been asked by organisers to stay away from the final.
- Harvard student in court to face US bomb hoax charges
By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - A Harvard University student who told investigators he had sent hoax e-mails claiming there were bombs planted around the school this week to get out of taking a final exam appeared in court on Wednesday to face criminal charges. The student, 20-year-old Eldo Kim, was brought handcuffed into U.S. District Court in Boston wearing Harvard sweatpants and a gray T-shirt. In a brief appearance, Kim spoke only to confirm to Magistrate Judge Judith Dein that he understood he has a right to remain silent and a right to an attorney. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Capin told the judge that prosecutors and Kim's legal representatives had begun "discussing alternatives to detention" for the student prior to the hearing.