2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
The standout news & pop obsessions gleaned from your search habits
Top tweets of 2012
Obama, Justin Bieber and Green Bay Packers' TJ Lang have garnered the highest number of retweets this year.
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- BBC's 'Top Gear' Issues Racist Apology for Racist Slur
The British communications regulator Ofcom has ruled that a pre-scripted bit on the popular BBC TV show Top Gear was racist. Top Gear, one of the most popular television shows in the world, showcases a variety of motor vehicles, and pretty much anything else that goes fast. The sometimes controversial show is presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. Here was part of the executive producer's statement:
- Papal first: Francis visits Pentecostal church
- Israel strikes house of Hamas Gaza leader, digs in for long fight
By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Maayan Lubell GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel knocked out Gaza's only power plant, flattened the home of its Islamist Hamas political leader and pounded dozens of other high-profile targets in the enclave on Tuesday, with no end in sight to more than three weeks of conflict. Health officials said at least 30 Palestinians were killed in some of heaviest bombardments from air, sea and land since the Israeli offensive began in response to Hamas rocket fire. The Israeli assault intensified following the deaths of 10 Israeli soldiers in cross-border attacks on Monday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning of a long conflict ahead. Thick black smoke rose from blazing fuel tanks at the power station that supplies up to two-thirds of Gaza's energy needs.
- N. Korea threatens nuclear strike on White House
A top-ranking North Korean military official has threatened a nuclear strike on the White House and Pentagon after accusing Washington of raising military tensions on the Korean peninsula. The threat came from Hwang Pyong-So, director of the military's General Political Bureau, during a speech to a large military rally in Pyongyang Sunday on the anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. Hwang, who holds the rank of vice marshal in the Korean People's Army, said a recent series of South Korea-US military drills, one of which included the deployment of a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier, had ramped up tensions. "If the US imperialists threaten our sovereignty and survival... our troops will fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon -- the sources of all evil," Hwang said in his speech broadcast Monday on state television.
- What not to buy on Amazon
- US fuming over Israeli criticism of Kerry
- Pilots of Air Algerie jet asked to turn back: France
France said Monday the pilots of the Air Algerie passenger plane that crashed in Mali, killing all 118 people on board, had asked to turn back in a new development to a complex probe into the tragedy. "What we know for sure is that the weather was bad that night, that the plane crew had asked to change route then to turn back before all contact was lost," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters in his latest briefing about last week's disaster. Speaking hours after the black box flight recorders of the McDonnell Douglas 83 jet arrived in Paris from Mali to help investigators, Fabius said air crash experts currently on the remote desert site of the accident were working in "extremely difficult conditions". More than 20 French experts from the country's Bureau of Investigations and Analyses (BEA), which probes air accidents, as well as specialist police forces were on site in Mali's barren Gossi area where the plane came down, he said.
- Origins of Mysterious World Trade Center Ship Revealed
In July 2010, amid the gargantuan rebuilding effort at the site of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, construction workers halted the backhoes when they uncovered something unexpected just south of where the Twin Towers once stood. Now, a new report finds that tree rings in those waterlogged ribs show the vessel was likely built in 1773, or soon after, in a small shipyard near Philadelphia. What's more, the ship was perhaps made from the same kind of white oak trees used to build parts of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were signed, according to the study published this month in the journal Tree-Ring Research. Archaeologists had been on-site throughout the excavation of the World Trade Center's Vehicular Security Center.