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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- China closes 66 'illegal' golf courses
China's Communist rulers have turned against the exclusive sport of golf with the government saying nearly 70 "illegal" courses have been closed, seemingly enforcing a decade-old ban for the first time. The announcement by the ministry of land and resources comes amid a high-profile anti-graft campaign spearheaded by President Xi Jinping, which has seen crackdowns on banquets, lavish gift-giving and other official excesses. The ruling Communist Party has long had an ambivalent relationship with golf, which is a lucrative opportunity for local authorities and a favoured pastime of some officials, but is also closely associated with wealth and Western elites. "Presently, local governments have shut down a number of illegally-built golf courses, and preliminary results have been achieved in clean-up and rectification work," read the announcement on the ministry's website late Monday.