2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
The standout news & pop obsessions gleaned from your search habits
YIR 2012: Superstorms and Scorchers
Mother Nature made her mark again this year and did so, unfortunately, in the most extreme ways: hellish heat, drought, superstorms and other wild weather events.
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- Business Highlights
___ China factories face new challenge as growth slows Chinese manufacturers are discovering that being an efficient low-cost producer is no longer enough to prosper in the face of the country's slowing ...
- Man uses drone to take spectacular selfie atop hill in San Francisco
- Katy Perry Has Selected Her Next Ill-Advised Paramour: Diplo
Today in celebrity gossip: Katy Perry's romantic decision-making remains questionable, Miley Cyrus was rushed to the hospital, and Lady Gaga personally worsened California's drought. The main thing you need to know about Katy Perry is that nobody is the boss of Katy Perry when it comes to her love life. The whole Russell Brand thing seemed like a bad idea on both their parts, and the John Mayer incident was never not going to be a fiasco, so when that ended, the question was whether Katy Perry would wise up and make better romantic decisions in the future? Well, you make the call: Is the handsome, openly debaucherous DJ Diplo a step up or down for Katy Perry?
- Obama, Merkel discuss Ukraine crisis in call
President Barack Obama spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel by phone on Thursday about the situation in Ukraine, the offices of both leaders said. Obama and Merkel agreed during the call that Russia should use its influence on armed groups in eastern Ukraine to calm the situation, a German government spokeswoman said on Thursday. "Both shared their worries given current developments in eastern Ukraine, so they called on Russia to help contribute to a de-escalation," the spokeswoman, Christiane Wirtz, said in an email. "They said Russia in particular should use its influence on armed groups in eastern Ukraine to calm the situation," Wirtz said.
- Hundreds of earthquakes strike central Idaho, rattling nerves
By Laura Zuckerman SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - Hundreds of low-level and medium-sized earthquakes have struck central Idaho since last month, puzzling geologists who wonder whether the ruptures portend a much larger temblor to come or are merely the rumblings of a seismic fault previously thought to be dormant. The recent earthquake swarm, beginning on March 24 and climaxed by a 4.9 magnitude tremor on Saturday, has produced no reports of injuries or severe damage but has rattled nerves in a region where Idaho's most powerful known quake, measured at 6.9, killed two children in 1983. Saturday's earthquake was the strongest recorded in the state since 2005 and was followed on Monday by a magnitude 4.4 event that struck 10 miles north of the small ranching community of Challis, Idaho, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The likelihood of a severe earthquake coming on the heels of the recent swarm is low, but much is perplexing about the series of tremors, said Bill Phillips, a geologist with the Idaho Geological Survey at the University of Idaho.
- Heartbreaking texts from students on sinking S. Korea ferry
Heart-wrenching messages of fear, love and despair, sent by high school students from a sinking South Korean ferry, added extra emotional weight Thursday to a tragedy that has stunned the nation. Nearly 300 people -- most of them students on a high school trip to a holiday island -- are still missing after the ferry capsized and sank on Wednesday morning. Mom, I love you," student Shin Young-Jin said in a text to his mother that was widely circulated in the South Korean media. Another student, 16-year-old Kim Woong-Ki, sent a desperate text for help to his elder brother as the ship listed violently over to one side.
- Home Depot Lumbers Into E-Commerce
LOCUST GROVE, Ga.—Home Depot Inc.'s newest location is 10 times bigger than its average store, stocks three times more items and has no customers. It's an online distribution center, for a company that seems the unlikeliest of Internet retailers. For decades, Home Depot excelled at the traditional retail model of growing by adding new locations. "The retail model forever was to increase sales through opening additional units, but as you added stores to a finite group of households, each store becomes less profitable," Home Depot Chief Executive Frank Blake said in an interview.
- Harry Potter fans open online Hogwarts school
Hogwarts is Here, an online educational website modeled after J.K. Rowling's school for young magic-users, is open for currency-free business. Following in the footsteps of the fictional Harry, Hermione and Ron just got a whole lot easier with a selection of nine-week online courses provided by a coven of industrious fans. Students can choose which of the four Hogwarts houses they want to represent -- Gryffindor's popularity is currently oustripping Hufflepuff by a factor of three, while Ravenclaw's girls and boys have proven themselves at earning House Points.