2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
The standout news & pop obsessions gleaned from your search habits
Year in Review 2012: Top News Stories
In a year mostly dominated by power politics and a presidential election, Mother Nature reminded us in November of her strength and authority. A spate of shootings and odd crimes captivated the news shows and online media.
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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.
- Netherlands too strong for lacklustre Spain
The Netherlands once again proved too good for an under-par Spain as goals from Stefan de Vrij and Davy Klaasen handed the hosts a 2-0 friendly win in Amsterdam on Tuesday. Spain were hoping to exact revenge for the 5-1 thrashing they suffered at the hands of the Dutch at last year's World Cup, but their chances were undone by two goals in the opening 15 minutes. De Vrij rose highest to head home Wesley Sneijder's in-swinging cross before Klaasen was given an alarming amount of space inside the box to fire home on the rebound after David de Gea had saved his initial effort.