2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • The Awful Reason Florida Is Bulldozing One of the World’s Rarest Forests

    The lush tropical canopies of pine rocklands exist only in South Florida, Cuba, and the Bahamas. This month the University of Miami sold 88 acres of rockland to Ram, a Palm Beach County–based developer known for building strip malls and residential complexes. The Miami Herald reports that the company has allotted space for 900 apartments and 185,000 square feet for a Walmart, in addition to a Chick-fil-A, a Chili’s, and a fitness center. This is how,” Dennis Olle, a lawyer and a board member of Tropical Audubon and the North American Butterfly Association, told The Miami Herald.

  • Water everywhere for DR Congo city yet scarcely a drop to drink
    Water everywhere for DR Congo city yet scarcely a drop to drink

    Goma, a city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, sits by one of the world's largest freshwater reservoirs and has some of Africa's heaviest annual rainfall, yet it is a thirsty place. Most of the city's one million residents, living close to the shores of Lake Kivu, have to struggle every day to fetch water home.

  • Israel-NYC flight makes safe emergency landing
    Israel-NYC flight makes safe emergency landing

    NEW YORK (AP) — A New York-bound Delta Air Lines flight from Israel declared an emergency and returned to Tel Aviv early Sunday after developing a mechanical problem, vexing passengers already on edge as Palestinian militants launched rocket attacks on the city.

  • Anybody home? Pacific island of Niue hit by exodus
    Anybody home? Pacific island of Niue hit by exodus

    ALOFI, Niue (AP) — It was a school once, but there are no children here anymore. The lonely building on this remote Pacific island now contains only a punching bag that someone has strung from the classroom rafters, and a note scrawled on the chalkboard in Niuean: "Keep this place clean," it says, "so it stays beautiful."

  • The iPhone 6′s sapphire display might not be all it’s cracked up to be
    The iPhone 6′s sapphire display might not be all it’s cracked up to be

    The potential sapphire display of the iPhone 6 has been rumored, substantiated and confirmed several times over the past year, but all we’ve ever heard about sapphire are its advantages. It’s durable, it’s scratch-resistant and Apple has even had experience using it in the past on protective glass covering the iPhone camera and the home button of the 5s, but there must be a downside, right? Right. Engadget’s Brad Molen spoke with several influential representatives of the smartphone industry to put together the other side of the story, and all of a sudden, sapphire isn’t looking quite like the dream material we thought it might be. “The cost and supply aren’t where we’d like them to be for sapphire to be

  • Islamist militia attacks rivals at main Libya airport
    Islamist militia attacks rivals at main Libya airport

    Deadly clashes raged Sunday around Libya's main international airport, closing in down, as Islamist militia attacked liberal rivals in their Tripoli bastion, in an intensifying power struggle. Exchanges of fire with heavy weapons forced the closure of Tripoli airport, as foreign ministers from the North African nation's neighbours were to meet later in Tunisia to consider how to aid chaos-riddled Libya. The assault on the Zintan group by rival Islamist militants also came after the UN pulled staff from Libya citing security reasons, and as the United States warned of further escalation. An airport official said "rockets struck inside the airport perimeter around 6 am (0400 GMT)", followed by heavy clashes between the Zintan militia which controls the airport and rival gunmen.

  • Swimming Olympian Ian Thorpe reveals he is gay: reports
    Swimming Olympian Ian Thorpe reveals he is gay: reports

    Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe reveals he is gay in an interview set to be broadcast Sunday, according to media reports, after years of denying rumours about his sexuality. The five-time Olympic gold medallist makes the revelation in an interview with British presenter Michael Parkinson due to be aired later Sunday by Australia's Channel Ten, reports said. Fellow Olympic swimmer Stephanie Rice tweeted: "Thorpie is and always will be a superstar in my eyes." Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham, who revealed he was gay in 2008, said he could "totally understand how difficult this whole process has been for him".

  • South African salvage master to refloat Costa Concordia
    South African salvage master to refloat Costa Concordia

    After rescuing a burning ship from pirate-infested waters off Yemen and a sinking oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, South African salvage master Nick Sloane faces his biggest test yet off an idyllic Mediterranean island. The 52-year-old says the attempt to float the Costa Concordia cruise ship, due to begin on Monday, is his "most challenging" yet in a career that has taken him to six continents and two warzones. He has led an international operation with hundreds of salvage workers including divers, welders and engineers operating 24 hours a day around the rusting 290-metre (951-foot) hulk, which is bigger than the Titanic. "By the end of July, the Costa Concordia is gone from Giglio," Sloane said in one of his video updates for the operation's website -- theparbucklingproject.com.

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