2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Earth hit by double asteroids 458 million years ago
    Earth hit by double asteroids 458 million years ago

    Some 458 million years ago, Earth was whacked in a double asteroid strike, leaving craters visible in Sweden today, space scientists reported on Thursday. The event, they said, can be traced to "one of the largest cosmic catastrophes" in the history of the Solar System -- a mighty collision in the asteroid belt around 12 million years earlier. With uplift of the Earth's crust, the signature of that event lies in central Sweden -- the 7.5-km Lockne crater, located around 20 kms south of the city of Oestersund, and a 700-metre (yard) crater at nearby Malingen. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, backs long-standing suspicions that these craters, just 16 kms apart, were caused by a "doublet", an extremely rare double whammy caused by asteroids travelling in pairs.

  • Sears to close stores, lay off about 5,500: Seeking Alpha
    Sears to close stores, lay off about 5,500: Seeking Alpha

    (Reuters) - Sears Holdings Corp is shuttering more than 100 stores and laying off at least 5,457 employees, investor website Seeking Alpha reported on Thursday, indicating the struggling retailer may be stepping up store closures. Sears said in August it had closed 96 stores in the six months since February and planned to close a total of 130 underperforming stores during the full fiscal year. It added at the time that it may shutter additional stores beyond the 130 target. ...

  • Ebola: A crash course in fear and how it hurts us
    Ebola: A crash course in fear and how it hurts us

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Ebola is giving Americans a crash course in fear.

  • QUIZ: Do You know enough to work in the marijuana industry?
    QUIZ: Do You know enough to work in the marijuana industry?

    With 23 states now allowing some form of medical marijuana program, the industry is in need of workers. But because marijuana has been illegal for decades (and still is illegal federally) there can be a lack of qualified workers to support the field. The industry is trying to change that.

  • Massive cheating scandal at UNC involved athletes
    Massive cheating scandal at UNC involved athletes

    CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Bogus classes and automatic A's and B's are at the heart of a cheating scandal at the University of North Carolina that lasted nearly two decades, encompassing about 3,100 students — nearly half of them athletes.

  • Huge Magnetic 'Ropes' Drive Powerful Sun Explosions
    Huge Magnetic 'Ropes' Drive Powerful Sun Explosions

    Known as magnetic flux ropes, coronal loops and solar prominences, these structures possess spiraling magnetic field lines, as if a huge bar magnet had been twisted into a corkscrew. Scientists have long thought magnetic flux ropes drive powerful solar explosions such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which can spawn geomagnetic storms that damage satellites in space and disrupt power grids on Earth. Two models for how magnetic flux ropes are involved have emerged. In the first model, a magnetic flux rope exists before the eruption.

  • Clinton backs Gov. Cuomo; GOP foe claims momentum
    Clinton backs Gov. Cuomo; GOP foe claims momentum

    NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo raced into the final stretch of his re-election bid Thursday with help from former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton while Republican challenger Rob Astorino maintained their recent debate helped push momentum to his side.

  • Police: Plane, helicopter collide in Maryland
    Police: Plane, helicopter collide in Maryland

    FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — Police say an airplane and helicopter have collided in mid-air at the Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland.

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