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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- Why Malaysia Airlines jet might have disappeared
- Powerful earthquake strikes off N. Calif. coast
EUREKA, Calif. (AP) — Officials say a powerful magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck Sunday night off the coast of Northern California, but there were no early signs of a tsunami.
- US firm says 20 employees on missing Malaysia plane
A Texas semiconductor firm said Saturday that 20 of its employees were confirmed passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines jet that has abruptly vanished. Among the Freescale Semiconductor employees aboard Flight MH370 were 12 people from Malaysia and another eight from China, president and CEO Gregg Lowe said. "At present, we are solely focused on our employees and their families," he added in a statement. Rescuers were still hunting for the whereabouts of the twin-engine plane that was carrying 239 people aboard as it traveled from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing more than 24 hours after it slipped off radar screens somewhere between Malaysia's east coast and southern Vietnam, triggering an international search effort.
- Powerful 6.9 quake strikes off California coast
A powerful 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck late Sunday off the coast of northern California, the US Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or a tsunami threat. The quake struck at 0518 GMT with an epicenter located 77 kilometers (48 miles) west-northwest of the town of Ferndale and at a depth of seven kilometers (4.3 miles), said the USGS, which monitors earthquakes worldwide. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, but early reports indicate the quake was felt as far away as San Francisco, around 400 kilometers south of Ferndale. Authorities in Humboldt County, the part of sparsely-populated northern California some 250 miles up the coast from San Francisco, said they had no calls about damage of injuries, local media reported.
- California criminal behind 3-strikes law arrested
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — The career criminal whose participation in a notorious murder spurred California's so-called three strikes law has been arrested again.
- Venezuela says near $1bn debt to Panama fraudulent
Venezuela's foreign minister says 90 percent of his government's $1 billion debt to Panama is fraudulent and criminal charges are likely to result. Elias Jaua says the government paid businessmen dollars ...
- Japan sees higher chance of El Nino this summer
There is a greater possibility of an El Nino weather pattern emerging this summer, Japan's weather bureau said on Monday, after previously forecasting a 50 percent chance of the phenomenon that is often linked to heavy rainfall and droughts. El Nino - a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific - can trigger drought in Southeast Asia and Australia and floods in South America, hitting production of key foods such as rice, wheat and sugar. The potential disruption to supply would come after many crops have already been hit by adverse weather in the Northern Hemisphere that has been in the grip of a savage winter. "The El Nino predictive model predicts the sea temperatures in the ocean area monitored for El Nino will transition from a level near standard this spring to a higher than standard level this summer," the Japan Meteorological Agency said in a monthly online bulletin about the phenomenon.
- Mom accused of driving into surf goes before judge