Grab your golden parachutes: The U.S. economy went cliff diving heading into 2013.
The 2012 NFL season started under the cloud of a lockout and replacement referees but ended with new stars shining and established players reaching new heights.
BEIJING, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- China's official Xinhua News Agency listed U.S. President Barack Obama's Asia-Pacific force rebalancing at the top of its 10 main world events in 2012.
Every year human beings surpass their previous record in the category of flat out weirdness.
Insurgents remain a resilient threat in Afghanistan as the United States turns military control over to the Afghan military.
After decades of increasing U.S. child obesity rates, 2012 might be the watershed year when this trend started to reverse -- several cities and even the state of Mississippi, which for many years ranked the fattest state in the nation -- showed declines in child and teen obesity.
The sadness was overwhelming, not just in the scenic Connecticut town where 20 schoolchildren, all of them just 6 or 7 years old, were slaughtered, but across the country as demands swelled for action on the availability of guns.
The U.S. government's botched "Fast and Furious" gunwalking operation is leaving a deadly legacy in Mexico, where weapons related to the operation continue to show up at crime scenes.
2012 was not the year for new blockbuster drugs, but researchers used existing drugs for different purposes and tried innovative approaches to save patients.
Intimidation is the name of the game in the Middle East, and the game is played on every stage imaginable.
2012 saw its share of finely crafted prestige films sure to join next month's Oscar race, as well as Hollywood blockbusters that made millions at the global box office.
In 2012, 672 of the 715 children reported missing to the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children vanished in the United States.
Former Congressman Gabrielle Giffords continued her remarkable recovery in 2012 from a gunshot wound to the head in January 2011.
The first man on the moon, the first American woman in space and Neil Armstrong, a national hero after becoming the first man to set foot on the moon, died at age 82. His family called him a loving family man and "a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job."
Consensus Player of the Year Anthony Davis, a freshman, paced the Kentucky Wildcats to a 38-2 record and the NCAA Tournament championship.
It was just past midnight and the showing of the summer's most anticipated blockbuster, the final installment of a Batman trilogy that packed movie theaters the nation over, was under way.
The wave of revolution in the Middle East known as the "Arab Spring" continued in 2012 with evolving conflicts and realignment of power.
As 2012 comes to a close, cracks were appearing in the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad with his vice president saying neither side in the civil war can win outright amid the specter of possible chemical warfare and reports the beleaguered leader is positioning himself and his family to flee Damascus for a last stand in his ancestral home of Qardaha.
The widow of the first patient who died from fungal meningitis due to contaminated steroid injections told a Washington hearing her nightmare will never end, but many of the almost 600 sickened from the steroid say their nightmare doesn't seem to end either.
For all intents and purposes, the U.S. economy was a magic act in 2012, which is to say it was nearly impossible to say exactly what was keeping it afloat.
That Alabama reached the BCS title game isn't a surprise, although the path taken was, but that the Crimson Tide's opponent is Notre Dame, that wasn't expected.
As the mammoth storm churned in the Atlantic in the days leading up to Halloween as part hurricane, part Nor'easter, forecasters dubbed it "Frankenstorm."
It was a story that spanned three continents and an ocean and still is unresolved as 2012 draws to a close. And the multifaceted storyline involving the whistle-blowing Website doesn't show signs of abating any time soon.
JERUSALEM, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- The year 2012 saw no advance in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and chances of talks resuming in 2013, appear slimmer than ever, Israeli and Palestinian experts say.
The night of Feb. 26, unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin got into a confrontation with George Zimmerman while walking through a gated community in Sanford, Fla., and wound up shot to death by the neighborhood watch volunteer, sparking national and international debate on "stand your ground" laws.
For technology, 2012 seemed equal parts innovation and confrontation as the world's tech giants seemed willing to spend as much time in the courtroom as in their R&D labs.
PYONGYANG, North Korea, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- North Korea's Kim Jong Un gave himself a nice present at year-end to mark the first anniversary of his succession to power in the secretive country with a satellite space launch using ballistic missile technology, disregarding world opinion and U.N. Security Council resolutions.
While the majority party changed in Minnesota and Colorado legislatures on Election Day 2012, the balance of power between Republicans and Democrats was largely unchanged.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court, in one of its last actions of the year, took on the fight over same-sex marriage.
Rory McIlroy ended the year with a flourish, marking a second half of the year that left him the undoubted No. 1-ranked player in the world.
Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka capped years in which each won six tournaments, including a Grand Slam event, with world No. 1 tennis rankings.
Election 2012 was big for supporters of same-sex marriage and recreational marijuana users as voters gave their imprimaturs to the two typically flashpoint issues.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Every year around the holidays, adorable little Virginia O'Hanlon, eternally 8 years old, sends us an email with the same question. And every year, with apologies to the late, great New York Sun, we answer:
BEIJING, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- The most important development in China in 2012 was the completion of the Communist Party's once-a-decade regime change that brought to the helm Xi Jinping, 59, an economic reformer who, along with other six members of the powerful Politburo Standing Committee, will lead the country in the coming decade.
The 2011-12 NBA season started late but finished with the long-anticipated crowing of LeBron James and the Miami Heat as NBA champions.
The last Western Division team to make the NHL playoffs skated off with the Stanley Cup this year but the league is yet to return to the ice due to a lockout.
2012 saw science looking from the cosmically large to the infinitesimally small, from the end of some efforts -- like the Space Shuttle era -- to the beginnings of others, with the search for fundamental physical particles.
The political divide of the U.S. Congress remained the same after Election Day 2012, with Republicans controlling the House of Representatives and Democrats holding onto the Senate.
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- The roster of 2012 deaths among sports figures included iconic coaches, Hall of Fame players, troubled stars and pioneers who broke ground in labor relations and auto racing safety.
The San Francisco Giants made an amazing playoff run to the 2012 World Series title in a year when Miguel Cabrera had an amazing season.
Britain's royal family kept the tongues of gossips wagging on both sides of the pond this year, thanks to Queen Elizabeth II's lavish Diamond Jubilee celebration, Prince Harry's nude photo scandal, Prince Philip's health woes and Duchess Kate's pregnancy.
In a military sex scandal that seemed at times more like an episode in Bravo's "Real Housewives" series, an FBI investigation into threatening emails sent to a Florida socialite led to the resignation of David Petraeus as CIA director.
Within hours of being sworn into office in mid-May, French President Francois Hollande was headed to Berlin to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The entertainment world mourned the loss of numerous titans and dozens of supporting players this year.
The Tour de France crowned one champion in 2012 but lost its most decorated winner in seven-time champion Lance Armstrong, to doping violations.
After a long, expensive and sometimes nasty presidential campaign, the U.S. voting public opted to go "Forward" with President Obama rather than heed Mitt Romney's call to "Believe in America."
London and the home-standing British athletes stood out at the 2012 Olympics but the spotlight was grabbed by Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.
The attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, in which the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed, set off a debate in Washington that initially focused on embassy security but soon shifted to broader questions about the Obama administration's competence and trustworthiness -- and threatened to hamper the president's ability to win cooperation from Senate Republicans on future Cabinet nominations.
A former U.S. presidential nominee, a longtime U.S. senator, the central figure in a case that led to reform of a major police department, and a number of supporting players from the Civil Rights era and the Watergate scandal, topped the list of notable deaths in 2012.
We look forward to 2013 with resolutions, hopes and clean calendars, but we'll be looking back as well. A new year is always an opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of something, and plenty of remembrances are upcoming.
Despite the staggering number of media outlets dogging their every move, some celebrities still managed to shock the world with their marriage, divorce and birth announcements in 2012.
Swimmer Michael Phelps redefined Olympian heights in 2012 but cyclist Lance Armstrong underwent an even greater fall from the pantheon of his sport.
U.S. politics, the London Olympics, economic developments in the United States and Europe and the unrest in the Arab world topped the news in 2012.
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