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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- Intensive care patient accused of selling thousands of dollars worth of heroin from hospital bed
- Stowaway Teen Said He Ran Away From Home After an Argument With Parents
- Search for MH370 reveals a military vulnerability for China
By Greg Torode and Michael Martina HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) - When Chinese naval supply vessel Qiandaohu entered Australia's Albany Port this month to replenish Chinese warships helping search for a missing Malaysian airliner, it highlighted a strategic headache for Beijing - its lack of offshore bases and friendly ports to call on. China's deployment for the search - 18 warships, smaller coastguard vessels, a civilian cargo ship and an Antarctic icebreaker - has stretched the supply lines and logistics of its rapidly expanding navy, Chinese analysts and regional military attaches say. China's naval planners know they will have to fill this strategic gap to meet Beijing's desire for a fully operational blue-water navy by 2050 - especially if access around Southeast Asia or beyond is needed in times of tension. China is determined to eventually challenge Washington's traditional naval dominance across the Asia Pacific and is keen to be able to protect its own strategic interests across the Indian Ocean and Middle East.
- Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new 'Galaxy'
- John Turturro replaces Robert De Niro in HBO's 'Criminal Justice'
Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro for the lead role, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Attached to headline "Criminal Justice" since September 2013, Robert De Niro was forced to step down due to a scheduling conflict, according to the Hollywood news website. The star will be replaced by John Turturro, the New York actor frequently seen in the films of Spike Lee and the Coen brothers. The role was initially developed for "The Sopranos" star James Gandolfini, who died in June 2013.
- Ukraine relaunches anti-rebel operation after Biden leaves
Ukraine relaunched military operations against pro-Kremlin separatists, hours after US Vice President Joe Biden ended a two-day visit to Kiev in which he warned Russia over its actions in the former Soviet republic. Russia already has tens of thousands of its troops massed on Ukraine's eastern border. Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, late Tuesday said he was ordering the military to restart operations against the rebels after the discovery of two "brutally tortured" bodies in the eastern rebel-held town of Slavyansk.
- All aboard! Sudan's sleek new Nile Train a rarity
In a dilapidated, poverty-stricken country where some railway rolling stock is more than 40 years old, Sudan's sleek, sharp-nosed Nile Train is an unusual sight. On January 20 the train began daily passenger service -- Sudan's first in years -- as part of efforts to revive the railway system despite an economic crisis that has left the country ravaged by inflation and starving for hard currency. "This new train is really, really modern," says Ahmed Hussein, the project manager for Sudan Railways Corporation. The four coaches roll out of the once-abandoned station in an industrial area of North Khartoum at 9:00 am every day, heading north with two stops before reaching the railway junction town of Atbara.
- British stars say farewell to Peaches Geldof at private funeral
Celebrities from Britain's television and music worlds attended the funeral on Monday of Peaches Geldof, the 25-year-old daughter of Band Aid founder Bob Geldof whose death two weeks ago remains unexplained. Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, model Kate Moss and Sarah Ferguson, the ex-wife of Prince Andrew, were among the mourners gathered to pay tribute to Geldof, whose coffin arrived painted with blue sky, clouds, flowers, and a portrait of her family. Geldof, a media and fashion personality in her own right and mother of two boys aged 23 months and 11 months, was found dead at her home in Wrotham, Kent, in southern England, on April 7. Her father was expected to deliver the eulogy at the private funeral held at the same church in Davington, Kent, where Peaches married musician Thomas Cohen in 2012 and near where she grew up.