2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
The standout news & pop obsessions gleaned from your search habits
Year in Review 2012: Obsessions
Here are the top 10 obsessions that, as ranked by their search volume and percentage spike compared with 2011 on Yahoo!.
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- China punishes HK lawmaker for criticising leader
A senior Hong Kong lawmaker was expelled from a prestigious Chinese government body Wednesday, in a sign that Beijing will not tolerate dissent from loyalists over pro-democracy protests in the semi-autonomous city. James Tien had his "qualifications revoked" as a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the state-run China News Service said. The prominent businessman and politician had criticised Hong Kong's embattled leader Leung Chun-ying for failing to put an end to more than a month of pro-democracy protests -- an unusual move for a pro-Beijing lawmaker.
- Hagel blasts US Syria strategy in memo: official
Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel has castigated the US strategy in Syria in a memo to the White House, saying Washington must explain its intentions toward President Bashar al-Assad's regime. The memo was sent last week to President Barack Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, a defense official said Thursday, confirming a New York Times report. Hagel warned that the Syria policy was "in danger of unraveling" due to confusion over the US stance toward Assad, the paper wrote. The Obama administration has focused on defeating the Islamic State group in Iraq first, and described US-led air strikes in Syria as a way of disrupting the jihadists' supply lines.
- Death penalty sought for trooper ambush suspect
- Sweden recognizes Palestinian state; Israel upset
- Military Sets New Record for World's Fastest Microchip
A new Guinness World Record has been set for the fastest microchip ever made, officials announced Tuesday (Oct. 28). The new chip, or integrated circuit, is a type of "amplifier" for signals, and operates at 1 trillion cycles per second, or 1 terahertz. "Today, we get to celebrate, with our partner and our performer Northrup Grumman, an exciting record from Guinness for some work that [has been] done," DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar said at a news conference here at the agency's headquarters yesterday. The applications of terahertz processing include communication networks with much greater capacity, high-resolution imaging systems and spectrometers that could detect toxic chemicals or explosives, DARPA officials said.
- Sistine chapel dazzles after technological makeover
- Flames, smoke after small plane crash in Kansas
- Russian court orders seizure of oligarch's oil stake
A Moscow court on Thursday ordered the nationalisation of a stake in an oil firm held by a detained oligarch, raising concern about signs of a state-orchestrated asset grab. A judge at Moscow's Arbitration Court ordered the return to the state of the stake held by billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's holding firm Sistema in oil company Bashneft. Yevtushenkov is currently being held under house arrest after being dramatically arrested last month on money laundering charges connected to the Bashneft sale, in a move that drew comparisons with the prosecution of former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Russia's 15th-wealthiest man with a fortune of $9 billion (7 billion euros) according to Forbes, Yevtushenkov has now been reduced to wearing an electronic bracelet.