2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • China's mixed martial artists rising up from the fields
    China's mixed martial artists rising up from the fields

    As he pinned his opponent down and punched him repeatedly in the head, Yao "The Master" Honggang was –- like other emerging Chinese mixed martial arts fighters -– beating his way out of rural poverty. Yao was once a national wrestling champion, but switched to the uncompromising discipline of mixed martial arts (MMA) a decade ago, when it was barely known in China. "My ideal is to get a knockout," said Yao, 33, who has a short, muscle-ripped frame and cauliflower ears.

  • 61-foot-tall rubber duck turns Port of L.A. into giant bathtub
    61-foot-tall rubber duck turns Port of L.A. into giant bathtub

    What's being billed as the world's largest rubber duck sailed into the Port of Los Angeles on Wednesday to promote the city's Tall Ships Festival.

  • St. Louis Medical Examiner SLAMS Brown Family Hire
    St. Louis Medical Examiner SLAMS Brown Family Hire

    The chief medical examiner of St. Louis County, who performed the first autopsy on Michael Brown after he was shot on Aug. 9, says that she is concerned by one of the men hired by the Brown family to conduct its own exam. “I can tell you absolutely that I find what Parcells does to be abysmal,” Dr. Mary Case told The Daily Caller when asked about Shawn Parcells, a Kansas-based forensic pathologist assistant. Parcells, along with Dr. Michael Baden, was hired last week by the Brown family to conduct an independent private autopsy. Parcells explained to TheDC earlier this week that the bullet was traveling in a back to front direction, indicating that Brown was bent over in some fashion when he was struck.

  • Bouchard, Raonic make final push to summit at U.S. Open

    The Maple Leaf has been waved by a Masters champion and produced most valuable players in the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Baseball. Faced with some Everest sized hype, Canadians Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic have set up base camps within sight of that lofty goal and head into the U.S. By reaching the Wimbledon final Bouchard has already climbed higher than any Canadian before her after semi-final appearances at the French and Australian Opens - losing to eventual champions on both occasions - had already marked her as a rising star. STEADY RISE Raonic also reached new heights on the lawns of the All-England Club, becoming the first Canadian man to play a grand slam semi-final following a quarter-final run at Roland Garros.

  • Iceland volcano eruption would shut down air travel: authority
    Iceland volcano eruption would shut down air travel: authority

    Icelandic aviation authorities warned Wednesday an eruption of the nation's largest volcano would trigger a shutdown of airspace, in a potential replay of the global travel chaos triggered when another peak blew four years ago. Authorities evacuated tourists and hikers overnight from the area around Bardarbunga volcano, which kicked into seismic action on Monday with the biggest earthquake registered since 1996. "There's nothing we can do if we get another big eruption like that of Eyjafjoell except to interrupt air traffic in the dangerous areas," Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration spokesman Fridthor Eydal was quoted as saying on news site mbl.is. The eruption of Eyjafjoell, a smaller volcano, in April 2010 caused travel mayhem, stranding more than eight million travellers in the biggest airspace shut down since World War II.

  • Teen gets 11 years for carving swastika on boy

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon teenager who carved a swastika into another teen's forehead as he and others tortured the boy has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.

  • Why US Special Forces failed to rescue James Foley
    Why US Special Forces failed to rescue James Foley

    The failed attempt to rescue journalist James Foley before he was killed by Islamic State militants – and the ongoing efforts to track down other American hostages before it’s too late – illustrate a glaring shortcoming in US military capabilities: that good US military intelligence on these militant groups is in short supply.  Although the Pentagon greenlighted the deployment of Special Operations Forces (SOF) to Syria – along with the US military’s most high-tech air and ground components – the mission did not result in a rescue.  The Pentagon’s unusual confirmation of a failed Special Forces mission – made at the behest of the White House – was in large part an effort to reassure the American public that the United States has not sat idly by during the meteoric rise of the Islamic State (IS).  “Was this a failure of intelligence?

  • Ukraine says Russian truck movement represents 'direct invasion' by Russia

    Ukrainian authorities said on Friday that 90 trucks from a Russian aid convoy had crossed into Ukraine without permission and Ukraine's state security chief said this amounted to a "direct invasion" by Russia. "They passed into Ukraine without clearance or participation of the International Red Cross or (Ukrainian) border guards," military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists. "We consider this a direct invasion by Russia of Ukraine," Ukrainian state security chief Valentyn Nalivaychenko said in a separate statement to journalists.

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