2012 Chinese Year: Dragon (Jan. 23). Doomsday Clock: 5 min. to midnight. Time Mag. Person of the Year: Barack Obama (1961-) (first time 2008). The Alan Turing Year in the computer world (born June 23, 1912). U.S. foreign aid: two-thirds goes to Muslim nations, of which half goes to Arab nations. Facebook hits 1B users on ? Asian pop. in U.S.: 18.9M (2.9%); Hispanic pop.: 53M (2.2% increase). Oil production in Iraq reaches 3M barrels a day for the first time since 1990, reaching 3.4M barrels by the end of the year, becoming the world's #3 oil exporter, on a course to pass Saudi Arabia. The U.S. exports $110B worth of goods to China, which exports $425B to the U.S., becoming the largest trade deficit one nation has with another so far in history (until ?). The U.S. Border Patrol makes 356,873 arrests, up 9% from 2011 (327,577). The obesity rate in Mexico is 32%, vs. 9.5% in 1988, with 70% of the pop. overweight. Abortions in New York City: 42.4% black (31,328, vs. 24,758 black babies born). Attacks by Afghan insiders on U.S. and NATO troops: 47, killing 61 (vs. 20 in 2011). 30K+ elephants are killed in Africa, mainly by Al-Shabaab. The city of Manama, Bahrain is declared the capital of Arab culture by the Arab League. The 2012-14 North Am. Drought is an expansion of the 2010-2012 Southern U.S. Drought; the Calif. drought is the worst in 1.2K+ years. On Jan. 1 (Sun.) a 7.0 earthquake hits Honshu, Japan; the Fukushima Daichi Power Plant isn't affected. On Jan. 1 a new gay history law (SB48) takes effect in Calif., along with a law giving financial aid to illegal immigrant college students. On Jan. 1 new French citizenship law stiffens the reqts. On Jan. 1 Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu announces the building of a new security fence along the border with Jordan to go with the one along the Egyptian border. On Jan. 1 a string of arson attacks on a mosque, Hindu temple, and Muslim-owned convenience store in Queens, N.Y. by Ray Lazier Lengend, who later tells police that he wanted to take out "as many Muslims and Arabs as possible" pisses-off Muslims and PC police, who forget about everything but the mosque, which he attacked for not letting him use the bathroom. On Jan. 1 Muslims in Dushanbe, Tajikistan shouting "infidel" murder Parvis Davlatbekov for walking around in a Santa Claus suit. On Jan. 1 the "majoritarian" right wing Fidesz Party 2012 Hungarian Constitution goes into effect, banning same-sex marriage and discriminating against all but mainline Roman Catholicism; on Jan. 2 tens of thousands demonstrate against it in Budapest, Hungary. On Jan. 2 the U.S. announces a $3.5B missile defense equipment sale to UAE. On Jan. 2 Gazan Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh visits Turkey and "salutes the martyrs and families of the liberty ship Mavi Marmara"; on Jan. 5 he visits Tunisia, and is greeted by Islamist throngs in Tunis, telling them "We shall not relinquish Palestine from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River", to which they chant "Killing the Jew is a duty", causing Ghannouchi to later apologize. On Jan. 2 the 2012 Rose Bowl sees the Oregon Ducks defeat the Wisc. Badgers 45-38, becoming their first win in 95 years; the Rose Parade ends with 5K Occupy protesters escorting it. On Jan. ? Chinese pres. Hu Jintao utters the soundbyte that China and the West are engaged in an escalating culture war. On Jan. 3 the 2012 Iowa Repub. Caucus is a narrow 8-vote V (30,015 votes to 30,007) for Mitt Romney over formerly last-place Rick Santorum, with Ron Paul #3, Newt Gingrich #4, and Rick Perry #5; Michele Bachmann comes in #6 (last) and drops out of the race; on Jan. 19 the final vote count puts Santorum ahead of Romney by 34 votes (29,839 vs. 29,805), with the results from eight precincts missing. On Jan. 3 Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho and and Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat meet in Amman, Jordan for the two parties' first direct talks in over a year; the Palestinians start out by handing their borders and security positions to the Israelis; meanwhile Iranian pres. Madman Inastraightjacket utters the soundbyte that "Israeli attempts to Judaize Jerusalem will bring about its end", calling their occupation of "Palestinian land" "the most important topic in the world". On Jan. 4 the Obama admin. agrees to release Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay in return for the Taliban's agreement to set up a negotiation office in Gutter, er, Qatar; too bad, they release Ibrahim al Qosi, who becomes a top cmdr. of AQAP. On Jan. 4 the Obama admin. announces the creation of the U.S. Bureau of Counterterrorism, focusing on foreign terrorists; on Jan. 5 Pres. Obama personally unveils at the Pentagon the 2012 defense strategic review titled Sustaining United States Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defined, presenting a new defense strategy that places more emphasis on military capabilities in Asia and the Pacific, and no surprise, less on the Muslim World, incl. the largest defense cuts since the end of the Cold War so that the military won't be able to carry out any more large land wars without using reserves, on the shaky assumption that it can rebuilt fast enough if it needs to. On Jan. 4 Pres. Obama uses the Senate recess to appoint Jay Carney and two other Dems. to govt positions; too bad, the Senate isn't officially in recess. On Jan. 4 a prison fight in Altamira Prison in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico kills 31. On Jan. 4 a bus slips off an icy bridge in Guizhou Province, China, killing 18 and injuring 37 of 57 aboard. On Jan. 5 a wave of bombings in Shiite areas of Baghdad, Iraq kill 73 and wound scorses, incl. 44 killed and 81 wounded at a police checkpoint W of Nassiriya. On Jan. 5 Turkey arrests retired Gen. Ilker Basbug, former army CIC (until 2010) for plotting against the AKP govt.; he joins 300 other military officers and 98 journalists in jail. On Jan. 5 U.S. State Dept. spokesman Victoria Nuland announces that the U.S. trusts the good intentions of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, saying that statements by deputy leader Rashad Bayoumi that the Camp David Accord with Israel isn't binding and that the Muslim Brotherhood won't recognize Israel under any circumstances can be discarded because he's only one member; on Jan. 18 U.S. ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson meets with Muslim Brotherhood supreme guide Mohammed Badie to congratulate him for their victory in the parliamentary elections, and after he tells her that Sharia "ensures personal freedoms for all", she apologizes for past U.S. mistakes and promises that the U.S. will "learn from them to avoid their recurrence in the future." On Jan. 6 a suicide attack on a bus carrying police in Damascus, Syria kills 25. On Jan. 7 Coptic Christians in Egypt celebrate Christmas amid reps. of the unfriendly Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), with Pope Shenouda III appealing for nat. unity with the soundbyte: "For the first time in the history of the cathedral, it is packed with all types of Islamist leaders in Egypt. They all agree... on the stability of this country, and in loving it and working for it, and to work with the Copts as one hand for the sake of Egypt." On Jan. 7 exiled Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf, who has announced plans to return to Pakistan despite threats of prosecution utters the soundbytes that Israel "is not going away", and "There is nothing to lose by trying to get on Israel's good side." On Jan. 7 Kenyan troops in Somalia fighting al-Shabaab officially become part of the African Union Somalia Peacekeeping Force, replacing Ethopian forces. On Jan. 7 U.S. forces rescue 13 Iranian fishermen kidnapped by pirates; on Jan. 10 they rescue six more off Iraq. On Jan. 7 the Miss Calif. USA Pageant, run by Donald Trump is won by Natalie Pack; it features the first two openly lesbian contestants, Jenelle Hutcherson (26), and Mollie Thomas (19). On Jan. 7-8 Mahmoud Abbas visits Uganda. On Jan. 8 Iran announces its 2nd uranium enrichment site, the Fordo Plant near Qum, buried deep underground; U.S. defense secy. Leon Panetta says that Iran hasn't decided to build a nuclear bomb yet, and calls for continuing pressure to make sure they don't, warning against a strike by Israel, which could trigger Iranian retaliation against the U.S. On Jan. 8 a gunman in an Afghan army uniform opens fire on a group of Americans in Zabul Province, Afghanistan, killing one soldier and wounding another. On Jan. 8 Russian troops and Islamists clash in Chechnya, killing four soldiers and four militants. On Jan. 8 Ala. Muslim convert Luis Ibarra-Hernandez (1990-) is arrested after he shoots out windows of businesses in Alabama City in order to lure police into a shootout to draw attention to himself and Islam. On Jan. 9 the U.S. debt of $15.23T becomes as big as the entire U.S. economy ($15.17T). On Jan. 9 3M Roman Catholics hold their annual day-long procession in Manila, Philippines despite a pres. warning that Muslim terrorists might be targeting it; meanwhile Pope Benedict XVI delivers his 2012 State of the World Address, claiming that same-sex marriage undermines the family, and "threatens human dignity and the future of humanity itself". On Jan. 9 Kosovo-born Fla. Islamist Sami Osmakac (1986-) is charged with plotting to go on jihad in Tampa Bay; he had posted on YouTube under the alias Abdul Samia, promising that Muslims will work to "fight the Christians, to close down the churches, to divide, to destroy, take down the cross, to kill all the swine"; meanwhile Muslim convert and ex-U.S. Army soldier Craig Baxam of Md. is charged with attempting to join al-Shabaab in Somalia; he utters the soundbyte: "We all have to die, so why not die the Islamic way?" On Jan. 9 Israel passes a new Law to Prevent Infiltration, providing up to three years in jail without trial for illegal immigrants or those helping them after they enter. On Jan. 9 an Afghan soldier fires a U.S. military personnel playing volleyball in Qalat, S Afghanistan, killing one and wounding three before being killed. On Jan. 9 (eve.) three car bombs in Baghdad, Iraq aimed at Shiites kill 17+; on Jan. 12 Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan warns Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki that this actions in removing Sunnis from the govt. are retreating Iraq from democracy; on Jan. 14 al-Maliki criticizes Turkey for its "surprise interference" in its internal affairs. On Jan. 9 a U.S. News and World Report Poll finds that Americans fear Pres. Obama's election by 2-1 (33% to 16%). On Jan. 9-14 Iranian pres. Madman Inastraightjacket visits Latin Am., incl. leftist Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Ecuador, and Guatemala; on Jan. 10 he jokes with Hugo Chavez "That hill will open up and a big atomic bomb will come out"; on Jan. 12 he attends the inaguration of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. On Jan. 10 Scotland is granted the right to vote on independence by Britain; too bad, Scottish Nat. Party head Alex Salmond wants to delay the vote for several years. On Jan. 10 Syrian dictator-pres. Bashed Head, er, Bashar Assad gives his first speech since June, refusing to step down and blaming foreigners for the unrest, vowing to use an "iron hand" against them; meanwhile Turkey intercepts a suspected military shipment to Syria. On Jan. 10 a car bomb in a market in Jamrud, Paksitan kills 35 and wounds 69. On Jan. 10 the 2012 N.H. Repub. Pres. Primary is a V for Mitt Romney, with Ron Paul #2, and Jon Huntsman #3. On Jan. 10 Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan is killed in a car bomb attack in Tehran, becoming the 4th in the last two years; the Iranians send a letter to the U.S. and U.K. claiming to have evidence that it was done by the Mossad in league with the CIA and MI6. On Jan. 10 former U.S. Marine Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, who worked on the reality-based war game "Assault on Iran" by Kuma Games and was arrested last Aug. is convicted of spying in Iran, and sentenced to death. On Jan. 11 a 7.6 earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia near Padang in West Sumatra kills 1.1K+. On Jan. 11 tens of thousands demonstrate in Nigeria over a doubling of gas prices. On Jan. 11 U.S. deputy secy. of state William Burns becomes the highest U.S. official to meet with the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, with political arm head Mohamed Morsi (1951-) "hailing" its new ties with the U.S., saying that relations between the U.S. and Egypt "must be balanced", that past U.S. support of Israel has been "biased and not in its interest", because the U.S. should adopt "a positive position concerning Arab and Muslim causes"; meanwhile former U.S. pres. Jimmy Carter says that he's pleased with the Egyptian elections, and that he and George Soros, er, the U.S. govt. have "no problem" with Islamists coming to power, and on Jan. 12 meets with Morsi in Cairo. On Jan. 11 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court rules 9-0 in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School vs. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that churches have the right to make employment decisions free from govt. interference over discrimination laws with the "ministerial exception", handing the Obama admin. a big D. On Jan. 11 the first U.S. drone strike since the Nov. snafu kills four Islamist militants in North Waziristan, Pakistan. On Jan. 11 the govt. of Tajikisan announces that it has clamped down on the Islamist Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), arresting 200 and convicting 168. On Jan. 11 (Joan of Arc Day) French Green Party pres. candidate Eva Joly calls for France to honor Muslim and Jewish festivals, not just Christian ones. On Jan. 11 the city council of Los Angeles, Calif. passes a law making it mandatory for porno actors to wear condoms. On Jan. 12 AP reveals that the U.S. has created a $5M Pakistan Counter-Extremism Unit running out of its embassy. On Jan. 12 Pakistani PM Yusuf Raza Gilani fires defense chief lt. gen. Naeem Khalid Lodhi after first criticizing army chief (since Nov. 29, 2007) Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and ISI chief (since Oct. 2008) Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, causing fears of a military coup; on Jan. 25 Gilani and Kayani announce that they've reconciled. On Jan. 12 Pissgate (Abu Ghraib II) (Abu Piss?) sees a video circulating on the Internet showing four U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, pissing-off Afghan Pres. Hamid Karzai and bringing out the PC police, causing Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos to appoint a 3-star gen. to investigate after Pres. Obama spokesmen Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton et al. condemn it; the Marines are identified and prosecuted; meanwhile there is a groundswell of support for them since Talibanis are barbarians who do far worse to their enemies, incl. splashing acid in their faces - I thought Obama said that Talibanis are not true Muslims because they pervert the religion? On Jan. 12 the Iraeli supreme court by 6-5 upholds a law banning Palestinians married to Israelis from living in Israel, with judge Asher Grunis uttering the soundbyte "Human rights are not a prescription for national suicide." On Jan. 12 a U.S. drone strike in Dogga, North Waziristan (near Miramsham) kills six militants. On Jan. 13 after sweeping political and economic changes, and a cease-fire with ethnic rebels, Myanmar (Burma) frees hundreds of its most famous political inmates to court the West to lift sanctions, and on Jan. 13 the U.S. restores full diplomatic relations. On Jan. 13 after they tell him that he's not welcome to visit Lebanon because of support for Israel, U.N. secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon demands the disarmament of Hezbollah. On Jan. 13 the giant Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia carrying 4.2K hits a reef off Isola del Giglio (Goat Island), Tuscany near the Italian coast, killing 32 of 4,252 passengers and 1,023 crew, with 200 initially trapped onboard; ship capt. Francesco Schettino is arrested for manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning ship. On Jan. 13 Swedish-Lebanese suspected Hezbollah member Atris Hussein is arrested for allegedly targeting Jews and Americans in Bangkok. On Jan. 13 fifteen Turkish academics sign a declaration in Ankara protesting the Info. and Communications Technology Authority (BTK) Act, which is due to be implemented in Aug., which filters out offensive content, incl. words like "sex" and "gay", Darwinian evolution sites, and "separatist propaganda". On Jan. 14 Otto Fernando Perez (Pérez) Molina (1950-) of the Patriotic Party becomes pres. #36 of Guatemala (until Sept. 3, 2015), going on to call for the legalization of drugs. On Jan. 14 a Sunni suicide bomber detonates among a group of Shiite pilgrims near Basra, Iraq, killing 53. On Jan. 14 hundreds of protesters screaming for a Sharia state attack the offices of the home ministry in Jakarta, Indonesia. On Jan. 14-19 Chinese PM Wen Jiabao visits Saudi Arabia (first trip by a Chinese PM in two decades), Qatar (first-ever), and the UAE (first-ever); on Jan. 15 Jiabao meets with Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secy.-gen. of the Org. of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), announcing an agreement on strategic relations between China and the Muslim World; China is thinking of ending its long relationship with Iran and getting a new oil source? On Jan. 14 Palestinians for Dignity becomes the first group of Palestinians to protest in front of the Palestinian Authority compound Al-Muqata'a, saying that they are tired of the farcical "negotiations about negotiations" in Amman. On Jan. 15 Sunni suicide bombers in military uniforms attack a mainly Shiite police HQ in Ramadi, Iraq, killing 10. On Jan. 15 a remote-controlled bomb blast near a Shiite Muslim procession in Khanpur, Pakistan kills 18 and injures 30. On Jan. 15 al-Qaida militants seize control of Radda, Yemen SE of Sana'a, and raise the al-Qaida flag over the citadel in the name of Ayman al-Zawahiri. On Jan. 15 the Austere Challenge 12 joint U.S.-Israeli war games are called off by Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak for 6 mo., causing speculation of an imminent attack on Iran. On Jan. 15 Pres. Obama attends mosque, er, Zion Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., his 3rd church attendance in a mo. On Jan. 15 the 2012 Golden Globes are broadcast from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. by NBC-TV and hosted by Ricky Gervais (3rd straight year); "The Artist" wins three awards, and "The Descendants" wins two awards. On Jan. 16 Saudi Arabia announces that if Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz it will make up any oil shortfall by increasing production, causing Iran to reply that they will face "consequences". On Jan. 16 U.N. secy.-gen. Ban Ki-Moon calls on the U.N. Security Council to act with "seriousness" on Syria; meanwhile 11 are killed across Syria, while Bashar Assad offers the protesters amnesty for the 10-mo. uprising if they give up; on Jan. 22 Arab foreign ministers meet to discuss the situation. On Jan. 16 British deputy PM Nick Clegg meets with Palestinian Authority pres. Mahmoud Abbas, and utters the soundbyte that Israeli settlement construction is "vandalism". On Jan. 16 "Arab hackers" take down the Israeli Stock Exchange and El Al Web sites, and promise to bring down more until "Israel apologizes to the people of the Gaza genocide." On Jan. 16 the Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) is founded in Qatar, backed by Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, and headed by Swiss Muslim Tariq Ramadan. On Jan. 16 after Jon Huntsman of Utah drops out and throws his support behind front runner Mitt Romney, the Repub. pres. debate in S.C. sees Newt Gingrich receive three standing ovations (first time since Ronald Reagan in N.H. in 1980); Tex. Gov. Rick Perry calls Turkey a country "ruled by what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists", calling for it to be kicked out of NATO and foreign aid cut off, causing Turkish ambassador to the U.S. Namik Tan to respond "The Turkey described in the debate simply does not exist"; on Jan. 19 Perry drops out of the race and endorses Newt Gingrich as "a conservative visionary who can transform our country". On Jan. 16 Germany opens its first univ. dept. of Islamic theology; three more are scheduled. On Jan. 17 37 more are killed in Syria by security forces, causing Pres. Obama to call on Pres. Bashar Assad to step down and end the crackdown. On Jan. 17 Iraq accuses Turkey of meddling with Iraqi politics. On Jan. 17 Iraq's Shiite-majority cabinet suspends Sunni Iraqiya bloc ministers after they boycott it to protest the arrest warrant for Sunni vice-pres. Tareq al-Hashemi. On Jan. 17 Pakistan turns down a request by the U.S. to permit special envoy Marc Grossman visit, citing the "prevailing situation" in the nation; meanwhile on Jan. 19 Pakistani PM Yusuf Raza Gilani appears before the Pakistani supreme court to answer contempt of court charges for not pursuing the prosecution of exiled Pervez Musharraf, whom he claims has full immunity so he can't; his hearing is adjourned until Feb. 1. On Jan. 17 Boko Haram militants attack a military checkpoint in Maiduguri, Nigeria, killing two soldiers; four militants are killed. On Jan. 18 the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) Protest becomes the largest in Internet history, led by Wikipedia; on Jan. 20 the bill is pulled from the House by sponsor Lamar Smith. On Jan. 18 two Katyusha rockets are fired at the Turkish embassy in Baghdad, Iraq; one hits, causing no injuries. On Jan. 18 Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov warns that a military attack on Iran would cause "extremely grave" consequences and trigger a "chain reaction" that would destabilize the world, while the new sanctions will "stifle" Iran's economy and hurt its people; on Jan. 17 British PM David Cameron accuses Iran of supplying weapons to Syria, saying that intel reports confirm that Hezbollah is involved, with the soundbyte that Iran and Hezbollah are propping up that "wretched tyrant"; meanwhile Russia announces that it is planning Iran war games for Sept. in case of a spillover into the Caucasus. On Jan. 18 Assad forces withdraw from Al-Zabadini 19 mi. from Damascus, giving the rebel Free Syria Army control of some territory for the first time. On Jan. 18 Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak utters the soundbyte that Israel is "very far off" from a decision about attacking Iran over its nukes, saying that he believes that Iran hasn't decided whether to make them yet; on Jan. 18 Iranian MP Ali Motahhari announces that Pres. Obama sent a secret letter to the Iranian govt. saying that any attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz is a red line, meaning war, but that his willingness to negotiate shows that he is afraid of Iran; meanwhile the U.S. disputes a statement by PM Benjamin Netanyahu that current sanctions on Iran are ineffective, saying that they must be imposed gradually, and U.S. defense secy. Leon Panetta says that the U.S. military is fully prepared to deal with the Iranian threat. On Jan. 18 Iran arrests prominent woman reformist journalists Marzieh Rasouli, Parastoo Dokouhaki, and Samahoddin Bourghani. On Jan. 18 an Israeli strike against a group of suspected Palestinian militants along the Gaza Border kills two and wounds two, causing Hamas to call them innocent civilians; meanwhile on Jan. 18 Switzerland hosts three spokesmen from Hamas, incl. Musheer Al Masri. On Jan. 18 Bosnian prosecutors halt their investigation into alleged war crimes by Muslims in 1992 that killed 42 and wounded 73, pissing-off Bosnian Serbs. On Jan. 18 U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton appoints Muslim-convert basketball star Kareem Abul-Jabbar as a U.S. cultural ambassador; on Jan. 22-28 he meets in Brazil with impoverished youth. On Jan. 18 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court rules 6-2 in Golan v. Holder that Congress has the power to renew copyrights beyond their expiration dates, throwing the works of Sergei Prokofiev et al. back under copyright. On Jan. 19 Pres. Obama rejects TransCanada's application for the 1.7K mi. Keystone Oil XL Pipeline, blaming the Repub.-controlled Congress for an "abritrary deadline" that didn't give the State Dept. enough time to gather info.; Canada announces that it may turn to China instead. On Jan. 19 U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chm. Gen. Martin Demsey visits Israel to discuss concerns over an Israeli attack on Iran. On Jan. 19 Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan establish a trade union over the next four years. On Jan. 19 Eastman Kodak Co. files for bankruptcy after two decades of layoffs and downsizing. On Jan. 19 after the U.S. govt. shuts down the Megaupload.com file sharing Web site, Anonymous stages a denial of service attack on the Web sites of the FBI, U.S. Dept. of Justice, U.S. Copyright Office, Universal Music Group, Warner Music, BMA, and RIAA. On Jan. 19 the U.K. admits to spying on Russia using a fake hollowed-out rock. On Jan. 19 Thailand recognizes a Palestinian state, which Israel calls "diappointing". On Jan. 20 a Taliban-recruited gunman in an Afghan army uniform kills four French soldiers and wounds several others in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan, causing the French to suspend training operations and threaten to leave Afghanistan early; meanwhile on Jan. 19 a U.S. heli crash kills six U.S. Marines; the Afghan military is increasingly showing its contempt for all infidel soldiers? On Jan. 20 French pres. Nicolas Sarkozy warns that a military strike on iran could "trigger war and chaos in the Middle East". On Jan. 20 Boko Hara attacks against govt. bldgs. in Kano, N Nigeria kill 143. On Jan. 20 the Obama admin. announces that most health care plans will be required to cover birth control without charging co-pays or deductibles, incl. church hospitals, who must comply by Aug. 1, 2013. On Jan. 21 the 2012 S.C. Repub. Pres. Primary is a V for Newt Gingrich, who attributes to the American people waking up that "they have elites who hav been trying for a half-century to force us to quit being American and become some kind of other system", and calling Obama the "food stamp president", while claiming he will be the "best paycheck president"; Mitt Romney comes in #2 by 12 points. On Jan. 21 (3 p.m. local time) after a fight with Dutch authorities, 16-y.-o. Dutch teen Laura Dekker (1995-) arrives in St. Maarten, completing a 518-day (Aug. 21, 2010) solo sailboat journey, making her the youngest. On Jan. 22 Human Rights Watch exec dir. Kenneth Roth calls for Western countries to overcome anti-Islamist sentiments and respect the people's choice for new Islamist govts. in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. On Jan. 23 after Mohamed ElBaradei withdraws his pres. candidacy on Jan. 14, claiming rigged elections, the new 2012 Egyptian parliament holds its first session; the Muslim Brotherhood alliance has 235 of 498 seats (47%), and the puritanical Salafist Nour Party has 125 (25%); MP Mamduh Ismail keeps adding "and abide by Sharia" to his vow despite repeated orders not to by chmn. Mahmud al-Saqqa. On Jan. 23 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court rules 9-0 in U.S. v. Jones that law enforcement must get a warrant to use GPS devices to track suspects. On Jan. 23 the U.S. charges former CIA officer (1990-2004) and Dem. staffer John Kiriakou (1974-) with repeatedly leaking classified info. to al-Qaida, incl. identities of CIA operatives; he was among the first to leak info. about the CIA's use of waterboarding to the New York Times et al. On Jan. 23 Saudi authorities arrest nine Shiite Saudis suspected of instigating anti-govt. riots in Qatif, E Saudi Arabia. On Jan. 23 the 27-member EU imposes an embargo on Iran, effective in July; on Jan. 25 Iranian pres. Imadinnajacket increases bank rates in an attempt to halt inflation caused by the new Western sanctions; on Jan. 26 he announces that he's ready to resume nuclear talks but refuses to drop the uranium enrichment program. On Jan. 23 Saudi Arabia issues its first govt.-backed Islamic bond (sukuk), 15B riyals ($4B). On Jan. 23 the Salafist Islamist group Jabhat al-Nusrah (Jabhat an-Nusra li-Ahl ash-Sham) (Support Front for the People of the Levant) is formed in Syria by Sheikh Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani (Osama Al-'Absi Al-Wahedi) (1981-) becoming al-Qaida's official rep in Syria on Apr. 8, 2013. On Jan. 24 a wave of car bombings in Baghdad, Iraq kills 14 and wounds 70+; this makes 170+ killed since Jan. 1 after U.S. soldiers left on Dec. 18. On Jan. 24 Pres. Obama delivers his 2012 State of the Union Speech, uttering the soundbyte "Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30% in taxes" (an attempt to defeat Repub. pres. candidate Mitt Romney, who revealed he only pays 14%, in advance?); also the soundbytes "We will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits"; "America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal." On Jan. 24 an Al-Shabaab suicide bomber in Beledweyne, Ethiopia hits an Ethiopian troop compound, killing 33. On Jan. 24 Ecuadorian pres. Rafael Correa appoints lesbian activist Carina Vance Mafla as health minister (until ?). On Jan. 24 (midnight) a shooting at the El Ranchon Nightclub in Villa Nueva (near Guatemala City), Guatemala kills eight and wounds 20. On Jan. 24-25 fighting between Shiite Houthi rebels and govt.-backed Sunni Salafi gunmen in Hajjah, NW Yemen kill 46+. On Jan. 25 the 1st anniv. of the 2011 Egyptian Uprising sees more demonstrations in Tahir Square in Alexandria against the military despite a warning by field marshal Hussein Tantawi that it will protect Egypt against "grave dangers"; Islamists and liberals gather on different sides of Tahrir Square. On Jan. 25 a combined Afghan-coalition security force kills several insurgents in Kot District, Faryab Province, Afghanistan during a search for a Taliban leader. On Jan. 25 Osama bin Laden-killing U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 rescues Am. hostage Jessica Buchanan and Danish hostage Poul Hagen Thisted in Adado, Somalia, and kills nine kidnappers. On Jan. 26 a car bomb in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan targeting NATO aid workers kills three and wounds 31. On Jan. 26 Hamburg, Germany becomes the first German federal state to make an official agreement with Islamic orgs., involving mosque construction, funerals, instruction, and day care center admin. On Jan. 26-27 in Syria security forces kill 120 as Euro and Arab nations call on the U.N. Security Council to pressure Bashar Assad to stand down; on Jan. 27 after the Free Syria Army captures it, massive demonstrations are staged in Saqba (near Damascus). On Jan. 27 leaders of the Arab Spring meet the world's elite in Davos, Switzerland, and assure them that Islamism isn't a threat to democracy, pleading for money to create jobs and elminate hunger. On Jan. 27 former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi warns that Israel can't afford to cut its defense budget but must prepare for war because of Egypt. On Jan. 27 an al-Qaida suicide car bomber at a Shiite funeral procession in Baghdad, Iraq kills 33 in an effort to provoke a counterattack by Shiite militias on Sunnis. On Jan. 27 an anon. group of members of the Nat. Islamic Front (NIF) in Sudan releases a memo calling for the end of the rule of the Nat. Congress Party (NCP) and the establishment of a secular dem. state. that treats "the principles of freedom and justice as inalienable rights". On Jan. 29 Hamas head Khaled Meshaal visits King Abdullah of Jordan, and utters the soundbyte: "Hamas stands firm against Israel's schemes to turn Jordan into a substitute homeland. Jordan is Jordan and Palestine is Palestine. We insist on restoring Palestinian rights." On Jan. 29 Canadian Muslims Mohammed Shafia (1953-), his 2nd wife Tooba Yahya Shafia (1969-), and their son Hamed Shafia (1990-) are convicted of the honor killing of Mohammed's first wife Rona Mohammed Amir (50), and Tooba's three daughters Zainab (19), Sahar (17), and Geeti (13) for refusing to wear the hijab and preferring Western-style clothing, "dishonoring" and "betraying" both "their family and Islam". On Jan. 30 the EU adopts a ban on Iranian oil, ignoring their threat to close the Strait of Hormuz; the U.S. has banned it since 1979. On Jan. 30 tens of thousands welcome Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Tavoy (Dawei) in her first rally outside Yongon for the Apr. 1 election. On Jan. 30 Afghan authorities announce that after giving birth to a 3rd straight daughter and no sons, an Afghan woman was killed by her husband and mother-in-law a week earlier. On Jan. 31 433 Eros passes the Earth at a distance of 0.179 AU (16.6M mi.). On Jan. 31 Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu comfortably wins reelection as head of the Likud Party, defeating Moshe Feiglin. On Jan. 31 China claims that 29 of its citizens were abducted while working on a construction project in Sudan, asking the govt. of South Sudan for help on Feb. 2; they are missing until ?. On Jan. 31 the Arab League calls on the U.N. Security Council to back its proposal for Syrian pres. Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to his deputy and announce elections. On Jan. 31 Taliban insurgents attack a Pakistani military outpost in Jogi, Pakistan, with 10 Pakistani soldiers KIA and seven injured. On Jan. 31 six aid workers are kidnapped in Al Mahwit Governate, Yemen; they are released on Feb. 2. On Jan. 31 the IAEA approves nuclear reactor safety checks made by Japan, which approves a bill to put a 40-year cap on the life of nuclear reactors. In Jan. Iran closes down all toy shops selling infidel Barbie Dolls as "symbols of immoral Western culture". In Jan. the U.S. unemployment rate drops to 8.3%, lowest in three years, adding 240K jobs. In Jan. the U.S. begins phasing-out incandescent light bulbs, starting with the 100-watt bulb this year, followed by the 40-watt bulb in 2014; too bad, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are labor-intensive to manufacture, causing U.S. plants to shut down and Chinese plants to expand. In Jan. Japan holds $1T in U.S. govt. debt for the first time. In Jan. the secular middle class Yesh Atid Party is founded. On Feb. 1 Facebook files for an IPO. On Feb. 1 Am. Airlines announces a workforce reduction of 13K jobs (15%). On Feb. 1 Queen Elizabeth II revokes the knighthood of former Royal Bank of Scotland CEO Frederick Anderson "Fred" Goodwin (1958-) for the bank's near collapse in 2008. On Feb. 1 a riot after a soccer match between Al-Masry and Al Ahly in Port Said, Egypt kills 79+ and injures 1K+. On Feb. 1 Pakistan jets bomb militant positions in the Orakzai and Kurram Agency areas near the Afghanistan border, killing 31. On Feb. 1 Canadian Muslim Naser Basder al-Raas (1983-) is arrested in Bahrain for attending a rally in the 2011-2 Bahraini Uprising; after the charges are dropped, he is returned to Canada on Feb. 16. On Feb. 1 Nigerian troops arrest Boko Haram leader Abul-Qaqa; on Sept. 18 after being released, he is shot dead by the military during a shootout in the outskirts of Kano. On Feb. 1 25 Chinese workers held captive in Sinai, Egypt are released. On Feb. 1 the Times of London reports that a secret NATO report claims that the Pakistan-backed Taliban is set to regain control over Afghanistan when coalition forces leave. On Feb. 1 the state senate of Wash. state legalizes same-sex marriage, and gov. Christine Gregoire signs it on Feb. 13. On Feb. 2 )a.m.) passenger ferry MV Rabaul Queen sinks off the coast of Finschhafen District, Papua New Guinea; 237 of 558 are rescued. On Feb. 2 a cold spell across Europe kills 110+. On Feb. 2 heavy rains and floods in Australia cause the towns of Bellingen and Moore in New South Wales to be evacuated, the town of Mitchell, Queensland declared a disaster. On Feb. 2 parliamentary elections in Kuwait are a V for the opposition, causing PM Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to resign on Feb. 5. On Feb. 2 4K Mexican troops are sent to Michoacan to quell violence. On Feb. 2 the govt. of Philippines claims to have killed Abu Sayyaf leader Umbra Jumdail, Jemaah Islamiyah leader Zulkifi bin Hir (AKA Marwan) of Malaysia, and Abdullah Ali of Singapore. On Feb. 2 Prince William of England arrives in the Falkland Islands for a tour of duty as an RAF search and rescue pilot. On Feb. 3 Egyptian police kill two Port Said Stadium protesters in Suez; 400 are injured in protests in Cairo; a total of five are killed and 1.7K are injured across Egypt. On Feb. 3 Taliban insurgents attack a Pakistani military outpost in Shidano Dand, Kurram Agency, Pakistan killing seven soldiers and 18 Taliban fighters; four Pakistani soldiers are captured. On Feb. 3 the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims 100+ killed by shelling in Homs, causing the U.N. Security Security Council on Feb. 4 to vote on an Arab League proposal, which is veoted by China and Russia; meanwhile on Feb. 4 Tunisia withdraws recognition of the Syrian govt., the Arab Parliament calls for Arab countries to do ditto, 12 are arrested at the Syrian embassy in London, and more protests are staged at Syrian embassies in Germany, Australia, Greece, Kuwait, and Egypt. On Feb. 3 Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov orders his fighters to stop attacks on Russian civilians and target only military and security personnel. On Feb. 3 a passenger train derails in Kamrup District, Assam, India, killing three and injuring 50. On Feb. 3 heavy snowfall in E. Colo. causes I-70 to be closed. On Feb. 3 the Nasdaq index reaches its highest level since 2000, while the Dow Jones Industrial Avg. reaches its highest levels (13K) since 2008. On Feb. 3 the Al-Monitor ("The pulse of the Middle East") media Web site is launched via partnership with 17 major new orgs. in the Muslim World. On Feb. 4 protesters against military rule burn the tax authority bldg. in Cairo, Egypt. On Feb. 5 an explosion hits the gas pipeline in Arish, Egypt running between Egypt, Israel, and Jordan. On Feb. 5 an explosion in Kandahar, Afghanistan kills 3+. On Feb. 5 the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta attacks the Eni SpA oil pipeline between Brass, Nigeria and Port Harcourt. On Feb. 5 heavy snow in the U.K. leads to mass cancellation of flights at Hearthrow Airport; meanwhile Bosnia declares a state of emergency due to the cold, and the town of St. George, Queensland, Australia is evacuated due to flooding. On Feb. 5 Josefina Vazquez Mota (191-) of PAN becomes the first woman endorsed as a pres. candidate by a major party in Mexico. On Feb. 5 the Syrian gov. launches a 26-day offensive in rebel-held Bab Amr, Homs (until Mar. 1), causing U.N. secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon on Feb. 9 to condemn its "appalling brutality"; on Feb. 11 a draft resolution is circulated at the U.N. by Saudi Arabia calling for an end to the violence; on Feb. 13 U.N. high commissioner for human rights Navanethem Pillay accuses the Syrian govt. of "indiscriminate attack" on civilians; on Feb. 13 the Syrian Free Army repels an attack on Rastan. On Feb. 6 Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee (60th anniv.). On Feb. 6 Romanian PM Emil Boc and his entire cabinet resign after major unrest. On Feb. 6 a 6.9 earthquake off the coast of Negros Island in the Philippines kills 13+, with 29 missing. On Feb. 6 a 3-story factory in Lahore, Pakistan collapses after a gas explosion, killing 21 and trapping dozens. On Feb. 6 a 13-passenger passenger van collides with an 18-wheel truck near Hampstead, Ont., Canada, killing 11 incl. the van driver and 10 Peruvian migrant workers. On Feb. 6 Syrian govt. shelling of Homs kills 17+; meanwhile the hacker group Anonymous pub. hundreds of emails from Pres. Bashar al-Assad, the U.S. closes its embassy in Damascus, and the U.K. recalls its ambassador, and Turkish foreign affairs minister Ahmet Davutoglu says that Turkey is "open to all Syrians who want to flee from oppression." On Feb. 6 gunmen kill five refugees from Tawergha, Libya in a camp outside Tripoli. On Feb. 6 a police strike in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil causes 1K army and police to surround the legislative assembly bldg. On Feb. 6 the Wang Lijung Incident sees Chongqing vice-mayor Wang Lijun attempt to defect at the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, leading to the downfall of his up-and-coming boss Bo Xilai (1949-) (son of Communist Party founder Bo Yibo), who is removed as Chongqing party chief in Mar. and suspended from the Politburo in Apr., then expelled from the Communist Party. On Feb. 26 the musical drama series Smash debuts on NBC-TV for 32 episodes (until May 26, 2013), based on the 1980 Garson Kanin novel about the creation of a new Broadway musical, starring Debra Messing and Christian Borle as the writing team of Julia Houston and Tom Levitt, who create the new musical "Bombshell" based on the life of Marilyn Monroe; Jack Davenport plays dir. Derek Wills; Katharine McPhee plays lead actress Karen Cartwright; Anjelica Huston plays producer Eileen Rand. On Feb. 7 Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov visits Damascus and meets with Bashar al-Assad, claiming that he commits to end the violence; meanwhile France, Spain, Italy, the Gulf Arab States, and Netherlands recall their ambassadors. On Feb. 7 after weeks of police protests over the arrest of a senior judge by the army, Maldives pres. Mohamed Nasheed resigns at gunpoint, and Mohammed Waheed Hassan Manik (1953-) becomes pres. of Maldives (until ?), while Nasheed supporters riot. On Feb. 7 the U.S. Congress approves legislation allowing expanded drone flights over the U.S., giving the FAA until Sept. 2015 to open up more airspace to them. On Feb. 7 U.N. high commissioner for refugees Adrian Edwards reports that 22K have fled fighting in Mali to neighboring countries; by June 2015 50K flee to SE Mauritania; too bad, after al-Qaida militants seize control of Mali, they impose Sharia, threatening the library of ancient Arabic texts in Timbuktu of Abdel Kader Haidara, who spent 30 years tracking them down and preserving them, causing him to sneak all 350K vols. out of the city to safety in S Mali; religious police chief Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud is later indicted by the Internat. Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity. On Feb. 7 the Iranian parliament summons pres. Imadinnajacket over economic policy, becoming the first since the 1979 Iranian Rev. On Feb. 7 Argentine pres. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announces that Argentina will file a complaint with the U.N. over militarization around the Falkland Islands by the U.K. On Feb. 7 French Socialist opposition MP Serge Letchimy accuses right wing interior minister Claude Gueant of Nazism for his statement "Not all civilizations are of equal value", causing the French cabinet to walk out of the nat. assembly. On Feb. 7 the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturns Calif.'s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage. On Feb. 8 the Danube River freezes for over 100 mi., becoming the first freeze in 25 years. On Feb. 8 FBI dir. Robert Mueller has a meeting with Islamic orgs. and assures tham that all "offensive" material has been removed from FBI offices and training courses, incl. 876 pages and 392 presentations that link the Muslim Brotherhood to terrorism, tie al-Qaida to the 1993 WTC and Khobar Towers bombings, and suggest that "young male immigrants of Middle Eastern appearance... may fit the terrorist profile best." On Feb. 8 U.S. drones kill 10 in Spalga, North Waziristan; another five are killed on Feb. 16. On Feb. 8 an al Al-Shabaab bomb near a cafe in Mogadishu, Somalia kills 15+ and injures 20+. On Feb. 9 Canadian PM Stephen Harper visits China, signing $3B in trade agreements. On Feb. 9 the U.S. Defense Dept. issues new guidelines removing restrictions on women in combat near front-line troops in support jobs. On Feb. 10 another strike by tens of thousands in Manama, Bahrain; on Feb. 14 the first anniv. of the uprising. On Feb. 10 protesters march towards the defense ministry in Cairo, Egypt, demanding return of a civilian govt.; on Feb. 11 the first anniv. of the toppling of pres. Hosni Mubarak features a dud turnout by activists. On Feb. 10 an alleged plot by cardinals to assassinate Pope Benedict XVI is alleged in the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano. On Feb. 12 18-y.-o. Tibetan Buddhist nun Tenzin Choedon (b. 1993) immolates herself in Suchian Province, China in protest against Chinese rule; a Tibetan monk does ditto in W China on Feb. 14. On Feb. 12 a plane crash near Bukavu, DRC kills finance minister Matata Ponyo Mapon and a senior aide to pres. Joseph Kabila. On Feb. 12 Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, head of the suspended Arab League's observer mission in Syria resigns. On Feb. 12 Turkmenistani pres. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow is reelected with 97% of the vote. On Feb. 12 Saudi journalist Hamzar Kashgari is deported from Malaysia for insulting Muhammad in a tweet. On Feb. 12 Walgett, N.S.W., Australia is evacuated due to floods. On Feb. 12 Iran claims that Azerbaijan has been helping Israeli spies; Azerbaijan denies it. On Feb. 12 tribal fighting between the Tobu and Zuwayya tribes begins in Kufra, Libya, killing 100+ by July 1. On Feb. 12 the 54th Annual Grammy Awards in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. is hosted by LL Cool J (1st time); Adele wins all six of her nominations (most by a female artist in a single night, passing Beyonce), incl. record of the year and song of the year for "Rolling in the Deep", and album of the year for "21"; Foo Fighters wins five awards, and Kanye West four. On Feb. 13 an explosion in an Israeli diplomat's car near the embassy in New Delhi, India injures a woman; explosives are found near the Israeli embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia. On Feb. 13 a 5.5 earthquake near Weitchpec, Calif.. On Feb. 13 Islamic extremist preacher Abu Qatada is released from prison in the U.K. per a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights. On Feb. 13 Chinese vice-pres. Xi Jinping meets with Pres. Obama in the White House. On Feb. 13 the senate of N.J. legalizes same-sex marriages by a 24-16 vote. On Feb. 13 ITV1 airs the first-ever British advertisement aimed specifically at dogs, featuring high-pitched sounds and satirizing the 1969 film "The Italian Job". On Feb. 13-14 thousands protest against the govt. in Manama, Bahrain; meanwhile three U.S. senators and 18 reps. (all Dems.) send a letter to secy. of state Hillary Clinton protesting an Obama admin. decision to sell arms to Bahrain. On Feb. 14 Anonymous hacks U.S. tear gas co. Combined Systems Inc. of Jamestown, Penn. for supplying tear gas to regimes fighting Middle East protesters. On Feb. 14 activist actor Sean Penn meets with Argentine pres. Cristina Fernandez de Kircher, urging Britain to end its "archaic commitment to colonialist ideology". On Feb. 14 Ugandan minister for ethics and integrity Simon Lokodo raids a workshop for gay activists and attempts to arrest organizer Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera; meanwhile an anti-gay bill in the parliament attempts to increase penalties for homosexual acts from 14 years to life. On Feb. 15 OIC secy.-gen. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu calls for the internat. community to rule out military invervention in Syria. On Feb. 15 a fire at a prison in Comayagua, Honduras kills 358. On Feb. 16 the Syrian army attacks Free Syrian Army positions in Deraa. On Feb. 16 Boko Haram attacks a prison in Kogi State, Nigeria, freeing 119 inmates. On Feb. 16 a head bus collision in Bauchi, Nigeria kills 32. On Feb. 16 underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is sentenced to life in prison. On Feb. 17 Moroccan imam Amine El Khalifi is arrested on attempted terrorism charges. On Feb. 17 thieves break into the Archeological Museum of Olympia in Greece, stealing 60+ artifacts from the ancient Olympic Games. On Feb. 17 the Dow Jones Industrial Avg. closes at 12,950, highest since May 2008. On Feb. 18 a funeral procession in Damascus, Syria for those killed in protests is fired on by security forces; meanwhile China urges all sides to end the violence. On Feb. 18 75% of voters in Latvia reject a constitutional referendum to make Russian the 2nd official language. On Feb. 18 an anti-govt. protest in Dakar, Senegal ends in violence, with the mayor's office burned down. On Feb. 18 a bus crash in Yuannan Province, China kills 9+ and inures 24. On Feb. 18-20 Chinese vice-pres. Xi Jinping visits Ireland, signing trade pacts. On Feb. 19 Iran suspends all oil exports to Britain and France, causing the price of oil to reach an 8-mo. high on Feb. 20. On Feb. 19 hundreds of cars circle Moscow to demand free elections. On Feb. 19 a prison brawl in Apodaca, Nuevo Leon, Mexico kills 44+, causing public safety secy. gen. Jaime Castaneda to be fired on Feb. 24. On Feb. 19 a bomb near the Christ Embassy Church in Suleja, Nigeria near Lagos injures five. On Feb. 19 a suicide bomber outside a police academy in NE Baghdad, Iraq kills 19+ officers and injures 26, becoming the deadliest since Jan. 27. On Feb. 19 two gas explosions in a nightclub in Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania injure 17. On Feb. 19 a bus carrying school children home from a ski trip in Italy crashes near Chalons-en-Champagne, France, killing a teacher and injuring 20+. On Feb. 19 (noon) an avalanche near Stevens Pass, Wash. kills three expert skiers. On Feb. 20 an Islamic attack in Maiduguri, Nigeria kills 30+. On Feb. 21 Eurozone finance ministers agree to a 2nd bailout of Greece at 130B euros. On Feb. 21 Tell Mama (Measuring Muslim Attacks) U.K. is founded to record anti-Muslim attacks. On Feb. 22 U.S. soldiers burn Islamic religious materials at Bagram AFB in Afghanistan, causing protests, causing U.S. Gen. John R. Allen to launch in inquiry, which only makes them more mad, with protests continuing until Feb. 27; on Feb. 22 the U.S. embassy in Kabul goes into lockdown; on Feb. 24 11+ are killed in more protests; on Feb. 25 two senior U.S. NATO officers are killed in the ministry of interior bldg. in Kabul, while four more are killed in protests in Kunduz; on Feb. 27 a suicide car bomber at Jalalabad Airport kills nine; on Mar. 2 the investigation reports that five U.S. service personnel were involved in an accidental Quran burning. On Feb. 21 a blast at a steel plant in Liaoning, China kills 13 and injures 17. On Feb. 21-22 a riot at Kerobakan Prison in Bali, Indonesia ends with two prisoners injured. On Feb. 22 Australian foreign minister Kevin Rudd resigns after attacks on his credibility. On Feb. 22 U.S. journalist Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik are killed in Homs, Syria; meanwhile Syrian army shelling intensifies in rebel-held Baba Amr District. On Feb. 22 Operation Linda Nchi (begun Oct. 16, 2011) captures the the al-Shabaab base at Baidoa, Somalia. On Feb. 22 a train crash in Buenos Aires, Argentina kills 50+ and injures 600+, becoming the worst in Argentina in 40 years. On Feb. 23 a series of attack across Iraq kill 60+ and injure 200+. On Feb. 24 the 70-nation Friends of Syria hold their first meeting in Tunisia; on Apr. 1 they hold meeting #2 in Istanbul; on July 6 100+ nations attend meeting #3 in Paris; on Dec. 12 114 nations attend meeting #4 in Marrakesh; next Feb. 28 11 nations attend meeting #5 in Rome; next Apr. 20 11 nations attend meeting #6 in Istanbul; on Apr. 21 they hold meeting #7 in ?. On Feb. 24 a Palestinian man is shot and killed during clashes at an Israeli checkpoint near Ramallah, West Bank. On Feb. 24 a Taliban Abdullah Azzam Brigade suicide team attacks a police station in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing four officers. On Feb. 25 an al-Qaida suicide bombing in Mukalla, Yemen kills 26+. On Feb. 25 1K+ protest in Tel Aviv, Israel over a proposed plan to deport hundreds of migrant workers. On Feb. 25 Pakistani authorities demolish Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad. On Feb. 26 Am. neighborhood watch coordinator George Michael Zimmerman (1983-) fatally shoots 17-y.-o. Trayvon Martin (b. 1995) in Sanford, Fla., and is not charged after alleging self-defense under the Fla. Stand your Ground Law; after the PC police move in, he is charged on Apr. 11 with 2nd deg. murder, and acquitted on July 13, 2013. On Feb. 26 a suicide bomber in Jos, Nigeria kills 2+. On Feb. 26 the Rev. Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) announces that it will give up kidnapping and release its remaining captives, which it does on Apr. 2. On Feb. 26 voters go to the polls to vote on a referendum for a new constitution. On Feb. 26 China lifts On Feb. 26, 2012 the 84th Academy Awards, presented at the Hollywood and Highland Center Theatre (formerly the Kodak Center), hosted by Billy Crystal (9th time) awards the best picture Oscar for 2011 to The Artist, along with best dir. to Michel Hazanavicius and best actor to Jean Dujardin; best actress goes to Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady; best supporting actor goes to Christopher Plummer for The Beginners, and best supporting actress to Octavia Spencer for The Help; best original screenplay goes to Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris; Rango wins for best animated feature; A Separation wins best foreign language film; Man or Muppet from The Muppets, sung by Bret McKenzie wins best original song. On Feb. 27 after continued protests, Ali Abdullah Saleh is succeeded by his vice-pres. Abd Rabbur Mansur Al-Hadi (1945-) as pres. #2 of Yemen (until ?). On Feb. 27 Russian and Ukrainian authorities announce the foiling of an alleged plot to assassinate Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. On Feb. 27 a shooting at Chardon H.S. in Ohio kills three students and injures two. On Feb. 27 9-story apt. bldg. in Astrakhan, Russia collapses after a natural gas explosion, killing 12+. On Feb. 27 WikiLeaks leaks 5M emails from the private intel co. Stratfor. On Feb. 28 the U.N. announces the death toll in Syria as 7.5K. On Feb. 28 non-military leaders of Hamas flee Syria for Egypt and Qatar. On Feb. 28 gunmen fire on a passenger bus in Kohistan, Pakistan, killing 18. On Feb. 28-29 the 2012 Leap Day Tornado Outbreak in the Ohio Valley and Central Plains kills 15 and does $475M damage. On Feb. 29 separatist riots in Xingjiang, China kill 20. In Feb. U.N. Jerusalem official Kulhood Badawi releases a photo on Twitter claiming to be of a dead Palestinian girl killed by the IDF during its shelling of Gaza, which proves to really be from 2006, causing the U.N. to let him go in Feb. 2013. In Feb. African-Am. economist William A. "Sandy" Darity Jr. (1952-) of Duke U. (critic of Pres. Obama for being too pro-private sector) calls for the creation of a Nat. Investment Employment Corps that would guarantee all U.S. citizens over the age of 18 a job at a min. salary of $20K plus $10K in benefits incl. medical coverage and retirement savings. In Feb. 18-y.-o. Welsh-born British chef Luke Thomas (1993-) becomes the youngest head chef in the U.K., taking over Sanctum on the Green in Cookham, which is filmed by the BBC for Britain's Youngest Chef. On Mar. 1 jet strikes kill 18 militants in Orakzai Agency, Pakistan. On Mar. 1 after 26 days (Feb. 5) the Syrian army takes Bab Amr, Homs from the rebels; the U.N. Security Council demands immediate access for its humanitarian chief Valerie Amos to inspect the area; on Mar. 2 the Red Cross is denied access. On Mar. 1 a remote-controlled bomb on a police bus in Istanbul, Turkey injures 16. On Mar. 1 heavy rains and flooding in N.S.W. and Victoria, Australia cause the towns of Cooma, Goulburn, Queanbeyan, and Tallygaroopna to be evacuated. On Mar. 1 the EU economic summit reappoints Herman Van Rompuy as Euro Council pres., and nominates Serbia for EU membership; on Mar. 2 25 of 27 EU members (excl. U.K. and Czech.) sign a new fiscal compact. On Mar. 1 Md. gov. Martin O'Malley signs a law legalizing same-sex marriage in Md. On Mar. 2 parliamentary elections in Iran. On Mar. 2 a battle between the Pakistan army and Islamic militants in the Tirah Valley in Bara, Khyber, NW Pakistan kills 33+, resulting in a push. On Mar. 2 the Russian army kills two Islamic militants in Mutsalaul, Dagestan. On Mar. 2 NASA admits that it was hacked 13x last year. On Mar. 2 a stand collapses in Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden during an Avicii concert, injuring 30. On Mar. 3 a suicide bomber in Deraa, Syria kills 2+ and injures several. On Mar. 3 a bomb at the Repub. Guard bldg. in Badya, Yemen kills 3+. On Mar. 3 two trains collide head-on in Szczekociny, Poland (near Zawiercie), killing 16 and injuring 58. On Mar. 3 a truck carrying people to a weekly market crashes in E Guinea, killing 50 and injuring 27. On Mar. 3 authorities in Tajikistan close Facebook and other Web sites containing material critical of pres. Emomali Rakhomon. On Mar. 4 a series of explosions at a munitions dump in Brazzaville, Congo kill 250+. On Mar. 4 elections in Russia reelect PM Vladimir Putin as pres. for a 3rd term; fraud is alleged, and dozens of protesters are arrested in Moscow. On Mar. 5 Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Pres. Obama in the White House, telling him: "My supreme reponsibility as prime minister of Israel is to ensure that Israel remains the master of its fate", and calling a nuclear Iran "unacceptable". On Mar. 5 Mexican pres. Felipe Calderon asks U.S. vice-pres. Joe Biden to help stop the flow of money and weapons into Mexico. On Mar. 5 gunmen disguised as police in Haditha, Iraq kill 27 security personnel. On Mar. 5 an explosion in N Mogadishu, Somalia kills an African Union soldier from Burundi. On Mar. 5 a shooting in a hair salon in Bucharest, Romania kills two and injures six. On Mar. 6 Super Tues. sees voters in 10 U.S. states go to the polls. On Mar. 6 oil-rich Cyrenica (E Libya) announces a bid for semi-autonomy, with Ahmed al-Senussi, relative of ex-king Idris as leader of the Cyrenaica Transitional Council. On Mar. 6 French pres. Nicolas Sarkozy announces a plan to cut French immigration by almost half, saying that France has too many foreigners, and that the system for integrating them is "working worse and worse". On Mar. 6 the European Commission withdraws a video promoting EU enlargement after it accused of being racist. On Mar. 6 authorities in the U.S., U.K., and Ireland arrest six senior members of the Lulz Sec hacking group, incl. FBI member Sabu (Hector Xavier Monsegur). On Mar. 6 fired employee Shane Schumerth kills headmistress Dale Regan of the Episcopal High School in Jacksonville, Fla., then kills himself. On Mar. 6 Saudi diplomat Khalaf Al Ali (b. 1967) is killed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. On Mar. 6 Iran promise to permit IAEA inspectors access to its Parchin military complex. On Mar. 6 Lehman Brothers emerges from bankruptcy. On Mar. 6 Turkish Airlines begins regular service to Somalia, the first outside the region in 20 years. On Mar. 6 9K residents of Wagga Wagga, N.S.W., Australia are evacuated as the Murrumbidgee River floods. On Mar. 6 a 5.2 earthquake near Masbate City, Philippines. On Mar. 6 the biggest solar flare in five years leaves the Sun, hitting Earth on Mar. 8. On Mar. 7 the widow of an Islamic militant detonates in Karabudakhykent, Dagestan, Russia (25 mi. S of Makhachkala), killing five policemen. On Mar. 8 Syrian deputy oil minister Abdo Hussameddin resigns and joins the opposition. On Mar. 8 a gunman at the U. of Penn. Medical Center in Pittsburgh kills one and injures seven before killing himself. On Mar. 9 another anti-govt. protest by tens of thousands in Manama, Bahrain. On Mar. 9 Popular Resistance Committees secy.-gen. Zohair al-Qaisi and two others are assassinated in Gaza by the Israeli air force. On Mar. 9 a fire at a hotel in Bangkok, Thailand kills one and injures 21. On Mar. 10 parliamentary elections in Slovakia are a V for the leftist opposition Direction-Social Dem. (Smer-SD) Party over the ruling Christian Union-Dem. Party coalition. On Mar. 10 130+ Qassam rockets are fired from Gaza into Israel; 12 Palestinian militants are killed; on Mar. 11/12 (night) 31 more rockets are fired into Ashdod and Gedera, while Israeli reprisals kill five. On Mar. 10 18-25 al-Qaida militants are killed in air raids in Bayda, Yemen. On Mar. 10 a grenade attack by al-Shabaab in Nairobi, Kenya kills 6+ and injures 60+. On Mar. 10 a fire in Lima, Peru destroys 500K school textbooks and 60K laptop computers; meanwhile hundreds of nude cyclists protest unsafe road conditions. On Mar. 11 the Kandahar Massacre sees amok U.S. soldier Staff Sgt. Robert Bales kill 16 civilians incl. nine children in Panjawi District, Afghanistan near Kandahar, causing the Taliban to vow revenge, followed by student protests on Mar. 13; on Mar. 13 Taliban militants fire on an Afghan govt. delegation visiting the massacre site; on Mar. 14 the soldier is moved to Kuwait while U.S. defense secy. Leon Panetta arrives in Afghanistan to placate anger; the soldier's identity is withheld until Mar. 16. On Mar. 11 Pakistani govt. bans the Islamist group Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaat. On Mar. 11 despite new tough gun regulations passed on Mar. 6, after getting pissed-off at Muslims joining the infidel French army, the Mohamed Merah Affair sees Algerian-born French Islamist Mohamed Merah (b. 1988), armed with an AK-47, Uzi, Sten gun, and several pistols kill a French soldier in Toulouse; on Mar. 15 he shoots three more in Montaubon, killing two; on Mar. 19 at Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in Toulouse, France he kills a rabbi, his two children, and the daughter of the principal; on Mar. 21-22 French police siege an apt. bldg. in Toulouse and kill him; on Mar. 25 Merah's brother is charged with complicity; of 7M Muslims in France, one-third are radical? On Mar. 12 the Shiite Rida Mosque in Brussels, Belgium is torched just before evening prayers by Sunni Muslim Rachid El-Boukhari (1989-), killing Imam Abdellah Dahdouh (b. 1965). On Mar. 12 223+ are killed in cattle raids in South Sudan. On Mar. 12 the Syrian army massacres 45+ incl. children in Homs; on Mar. 13 the Syrian army shells Idlib, killing dozens; meanwhile a rebels ambush kills 10+. On Mar. 12 tens of thousands demonstrate in Dhaka, Bangladesh demanding new elections. On Mar. 12 German chancellor Angela Merkel makes an unannounced visit to Afghanistan to see German troops, questioning the planned pullout by the end of 2014. On Mar. 12 avalanches in Poshan and Ghadoor, Nuristan, Afghanistan trap 45+. On Mar. 12 a jewelry heist in East Baghdad, Iraq sees al-Qaida robbers kill 9+ and injure 14; more attacks kill 5+ more. On Mar. 12 the U.S. Census Bureau officially estimates world pop. at 7B. On Mar. 13 an attack on a bus near Obang, Ethiopia kills 19. On Mar. 13 the Nigerian military announces that Boko Haram as killed 1.2 since the end of 2009. On Mar. 13 a truce goes into effect in the Gaza Strip. On Mar. 13 a Belgian bus crash in a tunnel near Sierre, Valais, Switzerland kills 28+ Belgians. On Mar. 13 the MV Shariatpur 1 Ferry carrying 200 collides with an oil tanker and capsizes on the Meghna River near Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 32+. On Mar. 13 Encyclopaedia Britannica discontinues its print ed. after 244 years. On Mar. 14 British PM David Cameron meets with Pres. Obama in the White House. On Mar. 14 U.S. defense secy. Leon Panetta visits Afghanistan; 200 Marines are asked to leave their weapons outside the tent where he is speaking to not offend the 20+ Afghan unarmed soldiers already there. On Mar. 14 authorities in Azerbaijan arrest 22 for allegedly spying for Iran. On Mar. 14 10K+ illegal Peruvian gold miners clash with police in Puerto Maldonado, Peru, who kill 3+. On Mar. 14 a 6.8 earthquake off the coast of Japan causes a tsunami that hits Aomori, Hokkaido. On Mar. 14 unemployment in the U.K. is announced at 2.67M, most since 1995. On Mar. 15 former Ill. gov. Rod Blagojevich enters Supermax federal prison in Florence, Colo. to begin his 14-year sentence for corruption. On Mar. 15 Ethiopian forces attack three militant camps inside Eritrea. On Mar. 15 Turkish intel reports that 20K Syrian soldiers have deserted in the last 1 mo.; meanwhile Turkey threatens to launch a military operation into Syria to protect refugees, and the U.N. announces a humanitarian mission, while thousands demonstrate for Assad in Damascus. On Mar. 15 a drive-by shootingkills two French soldiers and injures one in S France. On Mar. 15 a flash flood of the Vaisigano River in Apia, Samoa kills a family of six. On Mar. 15 thousands of students protest in Santiago, Chile demanding educational reforms. On Mar. 15 a free trade agreement comes into effect between the U.S. and South Korea. On Mar. 15 after 16-y.-o. Amina El-Filali commits suicide over a forced marriage to her rapist, Morocco announces that it's amending a law allowing rapists to marry their victims. On Mar. 16 Pres. Obama signs Executive Order 13603, delegating authority for allocation of resources to promote nat. defense; it actually authorizes martial law and abolition of private property under the guise of nat. security? On Mar. 16 (Fri.) the Fri. for Internat. Military Intervention sees protests spread from Aleppo, Syria to Hama, Homs, and Daraa Province. On Mar. 16 a Turkish NATO heli crashes into a house on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 14 incl. a woman and two children. On Mar. 16 actor George Clooney is arrested at a protest at the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C. along with Nick Clooney, MLK III, NAACP pres. Ben Jealous, and several congressmen. On Mar. 16 Nicolae Timofti (1948-) is elected pres. #4 of poor Moldova, taking office on Mar. 23 (until ?), becoming the first elected leader in nearly three years. On Mar. 17 Egyptian Coptic Pope #117 (since 1971) Shenouda III (b. 1923) dies in Cairo; on Nov. 18 Tawadros II (1952-) becomes Coptic pope of Alexandria #118 (until ?). On Mar. 17 two bombings in Damascus, Syria kill several police and civilians; meanwhile Saudi Arabia announces that it's sending weapons to the Syrian rebels. On Mar. 17 Burma signs an agreement with the Internat. Labor Org. to end forced labor by 2015. On Mar. 17 (night) a St. Patrick's Day riot by students in London, Ont., Canada results in 11 arrests. On Mar. 18 former Lutheran pastor and anti-Communist leader Joachim Gauck (1940-) is elected pres. of Germany (until ?). On Mar. 18 two gunmen on motorbikes kill an American working at a language school in Taez, Yemen for spreading Christianity. On Mar. 18 police kill five suspected terrorists in Bali, Indonesia. On Mar. 19 the Somali Nat. Theatre in Mogadishu opens after 20+ years of civil war. On Mar. 19 Wendy's overtakes Burger King as the #2 hamburger chain in the U.S. after McDonald's. On Mar. 19 the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that an FDA regulation requiring every tobacco co. to put graphic anti-smoking images on their packages is constitutional. On Mar. 19 a gravel ship sinks off the coast of Taiwan, killing six crew members. On Mar. 19 an avalanche in Kaafjord, Norway kills five foreign tourists. On Mar. 19-20 (night) rebels stage a mortar attack on the pres. palace in Mogadishu, Somalia. On Mar. 20 (9th anniv. of the U.S. invasion) a wave of terrorist attacks in 10 cities in Iraq kills 50+ and injures 240+. On Mar. 20 the Pakistani parliament calls for an end to NATO drone strokes along with an apology for the NATO attack on Nov. 26, 2011 that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. On Mar. 20 a 7.4 earthquake in Guerrero and Oaxaca, Mexico On Mar. 20 a train collides with a packed vehicle in Uttar Pradesh, India, killing 15. On Mar. 21 an Al-Shabaab car bomb in Mogadishu, Somalia injures two. On Mar. 21 after it pledges allegiance to ISIS on its Web site, Boko Haram militants attack a police station and bank in Kano, Nigeria, losing nine to Nigerian troops. On Mar. 21 reports that Islamists in Iraq are killing Emos (Westernized youths) by crushing their skulls with cement blocks to terrorize them. On Mar. 21 the reality show Duck Dynasty debuts on A&E (until ?), about the hirsuite Robertson family of West Monroe, La., incl. Phil (patriarch and creator of the Duck Commander duck call), Si, Jase, Willie, and Jep; "That sounds like a Chinese food place" (Willie). On Mar. 21-22 the 2012 Malian Coup sees Mali pres. (since June 8, 2002) Amadou Tournani Toure (Touré) (1948-) ousted in a coup by mutinous soldiers led by Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo (1973-), who becomes leader of the Nat. Committee for Recovering Democracy and Restoring the State (CNRDRE) until Apr. 12, when Dioncounda Traore (Traoré) (1942-) becomes interim pres. of Mali (until Sept. 4, 2013); meanwhile on Apr. 6 thousands of armed Tuareg returning from service in Muammar Gadhafi's military under the name of Nat. Movement for the Liberation of Azawad in N Mali declares independence from Mali, leading to a power vacuum in N Mali that causes al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb to see its chance and move in. On Mar. 22 Turkish forces attack Kurdish PKK rebels in SW Turkey, killing six Turks and six rebels; on Mar. 24 they kill 15 Kurdish militant women in Bitlis Province. On Mar. 22 200K students protest tuition hikes in Montreal, Quebec, becoming the biggest protest in Quebec history (until ?). On Mar. 22 a fire destroys Hatibagan Market in Calcutta, India. On Mar. 22 the Beatles' debut album Please Please Me falls out of copyright? On Mar. 23 Pope Benedict XVI visits Guanajuato, Mexico; on Mar. 26-28 he visits Cuba. On Mar. 23 Hillary Clinton personally signs a deal allowing her top aide Huma Abedin to simultaneously work for the U.S. State Dept. and the private Teneo Group in New York City, trying to get the federal govt. to pay for the cost of her commuting to/from Washington, D.C.; on Sept. 20 Huma Abedin is paid by the private Teneo Holdings consulting firm to help stage a star-studded reception at the Essex House in New York City, where Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, British PM Tony Blair are speakers, giving access to wowed potential Teneo clients; in 2015 U.S. Rep. (R-Iowa) Charles Grassley, chmn. of the Senate Judiciary Committee i nvestigates whether this was a conflict of interest. On Mar. 24 after the Al-Masry Club is banned for two seasons over the Port Said Stadium disaster, Egyptian security forces clash with protesters in Port Said, Egypt, killing one and injuring 18. On Mar. 24 Canada and Denmark suspend aid to Mali; on Mar. 25 the Tuareg Ansar Dine insurgents announce that they will erect Sharia in captured northern towns; on Mar. 28 coup leaders announce a new constitution. On Mar. 24 China announces that it is phasing-out its practicing of selling organs from executed prisoners. On Mar. 24 a house fire in Charleston, W. Va. kills two adults and six children. On Mar. 24 former U.S. vice-pres. Dick Cheney receives a heart transplant from an unknown donor. On Mar. 25 Pres. Obama and Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan hold talks concerning transitioning Syria to a "legitimate government" by aiding the rebels; meanwhile Kofi Annan and Dmitry Medevedev discuss a harder stance on Assad's regime, while the rebels attack a military base near Damascus and the Syrian army continues its bombardment of Homs. On Mar. 25 a roadside bomb in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan kills six Afghan police, one U.S. soldier, and a translator in a joint Afghan-NATO convoy. On Mar. 25 a student is shot and killed on the campus of Miss. State U. by three suspects in a blue Ford Crown Victoria, who escape. On Mar. 26 a green-on-blue attack in Afghanistan sees an Afghan police officer kill two British soldiers before being killed. On Mar. 26 Chinese pres. Hu Jintao visits New Delhi, India; Tibetan protester Jampa Yeshi immolates himself before he arrives. On Mar. 26 Somali pirates hijack the Iranian-owned MV. Eglantine cargo ship off Maldives, becoming the first pirate hijacking in their waters. On Mar. 26 London-based Tullow Oil discovers oil in Kenya. On Mar. 26 at a nuclear summit in South Korea, Pres. Obama is caught talking to Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev,uttering the soundbyte: "On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it's important for him [Putin] to give me space." On Mar. 26 Canadian "Titanic", "Terminator" filmmaker James Cameron becomes the first in 50 years to visit the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench of the Pacific Ocean in the Deepsea Challenger. On Mar. 26-27 tribal clashes in S Libya kill 50, causing the Nat. Transitional Council to admit it faces a nat. crisis. On Mar. 27 a bomb set by Maoist insurgents in Maharashtra, India kills 15 policeman and injures 13. On Mar. 27 Afghan authorities foil alleged suicide bombings in Kabul, Afghanistan, arresting several people and seizing 11 suicide jackets. On Mar. 27 a nuclear security summit in Seoul, South Korea sees Japan slam North Korea. On Mar. 27 Sudanese pres. Omar Hassan al-Bashir cancels planned meetings with South Sudan; on Mar. 28 South Sudanese troops pull out of the oil-rich Heglig area of Sudan. On Mar. 27 Zain-ul-Abdeen (Zainul Abideen), leader of the Pashtun Awami Nat. Party is assassinated in Karachi, Pakistan, causing riots killing six by Mar. 29. On Mar. 28 Syrian troops attack Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria. On Mar. 28 Fiji seizes a controlling interest in subsidiary Air Pacific from Qantas. On Mar. 28 the U.S. Mega Millions jackpot hits a world record $500M, reaching $60M on Mar. 30. On Mar. 29 the 2012 BRICS Summit in New Delhi, India. On Mar. 29 a prison riot in San Pedro Sula Prison in Honduras kills 13. On Mar. 29 thousands demonstrate in Ankara, Turkey against a govt. plan to boost the influence of Islamic schools, causing police to use tear gas and water cannons. On Mar. 29 Swedish defense minister Sten Tolgfors resigns over allegations that he knew about plans to help Saudi Arabia build a weapons plant. On Mar. 29 an explosion in a coal mine near Baishan, China kills 28; another explosion on Apr. 1 kills six more. On Mar. 30 the Syrian govt. announces that the revolt against Bashar al-Assad has ended, but that it's keeping soldiers in cities "for security"; meanwhile they keep shelling opposition areas. On Mar. 30 a U.S. drone kills two alleged Haqqani Network militants in Miran Shah, North Waziristan, Pakistan. On Mar. 30 the Israeli army kills one and injures three Palestinians trying to breach the Gaza border fence near the Erez Crossing, while thousands commemorate Land Day amid a failed call for a Global March to Jerusalem. On Mar. 30 Visa and MasterCard announce a "massive" security breach of 10M+ credit card numbers. On Mar. 30 (dawn) French police arrest 19 suspected Islamists; on Apr. 4 they arrest 10 more. On Mar. 30 Huanglongbing (citrus greening) disease, known for killing millions of trees in Brazil and Fla. is discovered in Los Angeles, Calif. On Mar. 30 2.6K young Saudis sign the online Statement of Saudi Youth Regarding the Guarantee of Freedoms and Ethics of Diversity, questioning the kingdom's right to impose its strict version of Islam on all Saudis. On Mar. 30 Tuareg rebels take Kidal, Mali, followed on Mar. 31/Apr. 1 by Gao. On Mar. 31 Papua New Guinea PM Peter O'Neill orders troops to Hela Province to quell illegal miners. On Mar. 31 battles between army troops and al-Qaida militants in S Yemen kill 29+. On Mar. 31 three explosions in Yala Province, Thailand kill 10+. On Mar. 31 Chinese police arrest six and shut down 16 Web sites for spreading rumors of military vehicles on the streets of Beijing in a coup. On Mar. 31 the Screen Actors Guild and Am. Federation of Television and Radio Artists merge to form SAG-AFTRA. On Mar. 31 the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood nominates Mohammed Khairat Saad El-Shater (1950-) as their candidate for the May pres. election, who resigns from the MB to get around the party promise not to run a candidate; too bad, on Apr. 14 he is disqualified by the armed forces supreme council for not being out of prison for six years. In Mar. an Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight becomes the first with an all female African-Am. flight crew. On Apr. 1 after capturing Gao on Mar. 31, Tuareg rebels surround and cpture Timbuktu, Mali; on Apr. 5 they declare the indepence of the nation of Azawad, which collapses on July 12. On Apr. 1 elections in Burma give a V to Aung San Suu Kyi and her Nat. League for Democracy; on Apr. 4 the 20th ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia calls for sanctions to be lifted; on Apr. 16 Australia relaxes sanctions; on Apr. 21 Japan writes off $3.7B in debt and resume development aid; on Apr. 23 the EU suspends most trade sanctions for a year but leaves their arms embargo in place. On Apr. 2 after his doctorate is revoked for plagiarism, Hungarian pres. Pal Schmitt resigns. On Apr. 2 the 30th anniv. of the Falklands War sees British PM David Cameron call the 1982 invasion "a profound wrong"; meanwhile Argentina threatens action against British and U.S. banks. On Apr. 2 Osama bin Laden's three widows and two daughters are convicted of illegally living in Pakistan, and sentenced to 45 days in jail and a $114 fine each; on Apr. 27 they are deported to Saudi Arabia. On Apr. 2 a shooter at Oikos U. in Oakland, Calif. kills seven and injures three. On Apr. 2 a twin-engine UTAir Aviation ATR-72 crashes near Tyumen, Siberia, killing 31 of 43 aboard. On Apr. 3 thousands demonstrate in Mauritania, calling for the resignation of pres. Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz. On Apr. 3 Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses the U.N. Security Council of standing by with "hands and arms tied" and indirectly supporting the oppression of the Syrian people. On Apr. 3 Tropical Cyclone Daphne and Tropical Depression 17F kills 5+ in Fiji, leaving 8K homeless. On Apr. 3 a fire in a market in Moscow, Russia kills 17 migrant workers. On Apr. 3 the Apr. 3, 2012 Tornado Outbreak hits the Dallas-Ft. Worth, Tex. area. On Apr. 3 Mitt Romney wins primaries in Md., Wisc., and Washington, D.C., while Pres. Obama secures the Dem. nomination with wins in Wisc., Md., and Washington, D.C. On Apr. 4 a suicide bomber in the recently reopened Somalian Nat. Theater in Mogadishu, Somalia kills 10+ incl. the pres. of the Somali Olympic Committee and the pres. of the Somali Football Federation. On Apr. 4 a suicide bomber in Faryab Province, Afghanistan kills 12+. On Apr. 5 the U.S. Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act is signed by Pres. Obama, encouraging funding of small businesses by easing security regulations. On Apr. 5 Syrian troops begin shelling Douma, Damascus (until ?). On Apr. 5 a rocket fired from the Sinai desert in Egypt hits Eilat, Israel, causing no damage. On Apr. 5 the Azawad Nat. Liberation Movement of Mali declares their own state, ceasing military activities. On Apr. 5 Malawian pres. (since May 2004) Bingu wa Mutharika (b. 1934) dies of a heart attack, and on Apr. 7 People's Party founder (2011) Joyce Hilda Banda (nee Mtila) (1950-) becomes pres. #4 of Malawi (until ?). On Apr. 5 a ceasefire is declared in Zuwara, W Libya. On Apr. 5 after a 77-y.-o. pension commits suicide outside parliament, protesters clash with police in Athens, Greece. On Apr. 5 a Chinese co. stops insuring tankers carrying Iranian oil as part of world sanctions. On Apr. 5 the hacker group Anonymous begins targeting Chinese Web sites to protest censorship. On Apr. 5 the political thriller series Scandal debuts on ABC-TV for ? episodes (until ?), starring black actress Kerry Marisa Washington (1977-) as Olivia Caroyn "Liv" Pope, head of a Washington, D.C. crisis mgt. firm, based on Pres. George H.W. Bush press aide Judy Smith, and white actor Anthony Howard "Tony" Goldwyn (1960-) as her flame and former client and Repub. Calif. gov., now U.S. Pres. Fitzgerald Thomas "Fitz" Grant III; Washington becomes the first African-Am. female lead in a U.S. network TV drama since Teresa Graves in "Get Christie Love" (1974); the first series where race is ignored as part of a character? On Apr. 6 (1 a.m.) a shooting attack in Tulsa, Okla. kills three blacks and injures two; on Apr. 8 police arrest white men Jake England and Alvin Watts. On Apr. 6 Yemeni pres. (since Feb.) Abed Rabbo (Abd-Rabbu) Mansour Hadi fires four governors and 12+ military cmdrs. incl. Gen. Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar, half-brother of former pres. Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was head of the air force; he leaves Saleh's son, nephew, and other allies in positions of power; on Apr. 7 the Sana'a airport is closed after al-Ahmar threaten an attack. On Apr. 6 the U.K. bans the display of tobacco products by retailers. On Apr. 6 a U.S. Navy FA-18 Hornet crashes into an apt. complex in Virginia Beach, Va., causing no fatalities. On Apr. 6 a fuel tanker overturns in Panjwai, Afghanistan, killing seven civilians. On Apr. 7 Burmese pres. Thein Sein meets with reps from the Karen Nat. Union to end their longstanding conflict. On Apr. 7 an avalanche near the Slachen Glacier in the Himalayan Mts. near the Indian border buries 120+ Pakistani soldiers. On Apr. 7 Hamas executes three men in the Gaza Strip for collaboration with Israel. On Apr. 7 the Anonymous hacker group attacks the U.K. Home Office. On Apr. 8 (Easter Sun.) Pope Benedict XVI delivers his 2012 Easter Message, calling for "an end to the bloodshed" in Syria. On Apr. 8 a car bomb in Kaduna, Nigeria kills 16 and wounds dozens after being stopped from approaching a church. On Apr. 8 former KGB head Leonid Tibilov (1952-) is elected pres. #3 of South Ossetia; he is sworn-in on Apr. 19 (until ?). On Apr. 8 the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agrement is signed, giving Afghanistan more control over night raids effective July 4. On Apr. 8 Israeli internal affairs minister Eli Yishai declares German poet Gunter Grass a persona non grata for his Apr. 4 poem "What Must Be Said", which equates Israel and Iran on the matter of nukes. On Apr. 8 Pakistan pres. Asif Ali Zardari visits India for the first pres. visit in seven years. On Apr. 9 Syrian forces fire across the Turkish border near a Syrian refugee camp in Kilis, Turkey, killing two and wounding 23+, becoming the first action in Turkey; meanwhile a TV cameraman from Al Jadeed is killed by the Syrian army at the Syria-Lebanon border. On Apr. 9 protesters in Tunis, Tunisia are tear-gassed by police. On Apr. 9 North Korea positions a rocket on a launch pad, drawing protests from the West, who claim it might be a ballistic missile; on On Apr. 13 (centenary of the birth of Kim Il-sung) North Korean Earth observation satellite Kwangmyongsong-3 explodes 90 sec. after launch; on Apr. 15 new North Korean Dear Leader Kim Jong-un gives his first public speech in Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang, calling for "final victory"; on Apr. 19 North Korea vows retaliation after the U.S. scraps food aid over the failed rocket launch, claiming that it's no longer bound by a bilateral agreement to halt testing of nuclear missiles and long-range missiles; on Apr. 23 North Korea threatens to reduce South Korea "to ashes"; on Apr. 23 China stops deporting North Korean defectors; on Apr. 24 U.S. defense secy. Leon Panetta warns North Korea against "any further provocations" against South Korea, saying that another nuclear test would create "greater instability in a dangerous part of the world". On Apr. 9 clashes between the Yemeni army and al-Qaida militants in S Yemen kill 21+. On Apr. 9 Facebook buys photo-sharing application Instagram for $1B. On Apr. 10 four suspected Mexican Sinaloa Cartel members are captured in Spain. On Apr. 10 Libyan army gen. Mohammed Hadia al-Feitouri is shot and killed in Benghazi while returning home from Fri. prayers. On Apr. 10 14 decomposing bodies are found in a van in ?; on Apr. 11 a dozen decomposing bodies are found inside an abandoned vehicle in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico. On Apr. 10 the U.S. announces plans to help clean up herbicide Agent Orange in Vietnam for the first time since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. On Apr. 11 U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton arrives in Istanbul for talks on the Syrian civil war; meanwhile Britain announces plans to give £5M worth of equipment to the Syrian rebels. On Apr. 11 two suicide bombers ram their vehicle into a govt. compound near Herat, Afghanistan, killing 15. On Apr. 11 protests in Mumbai, India against religious riots in Assam and Myanmar turn violent, killing two and injuring 18. On Apr. 11 two 6.4 earthquakes near Tabriz and Ahar, Iran kill 250+ and injure 1.8K. On Apr. 11 a bus crash in a deep gorge near Rajera, Himachal Pradesh, India kills 51+ and injures 46. On Apr. 12 a military mutiny in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau arrests interim pres. Raimundo Pereirs and pres. candidate Carlos Gomes Junior in the midst of the campaign. On Apr. 12 Egyptian forces kill six suspected militants near El-Arish, Sinai; meanwhile Egyptian pres. Mohamed Morsi fires armed forces CIC Mohamad Hussein Tantawi, and cancels constitutional amendments by the military restricting pres. powers, causing crowds in Cairo to praise him; meanwhile Qatar announces that it will deposit $2B in the Egyptian Central Bank to support the economy. On Apr. 12 Edgar Morales Perez, mayor-elect of Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, Mexico is shot and killed by gunmen while riding in his vehicle; meanwhile the state police cmdr. of Chihuahua, Mexico is killed by gunmen in Ciudad Juarez. On Apr. 12 the HBO series Girls debuts, created by and starring Lena Dunham (1986-) as Hannah Horvath, about a group of 20-somethings in New York City, making Dunham into the voice of Gen. Y. On Apr. 14 police in Bahrain shoot 15-y.-o. Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Aziz (b. 1996) during a funeral procession for another protester in Salmabad (near Manama). On Apr. 14 the U.S. Secret Service announces that it has put 11 agents on leave while being investigated for misconduct with 20 hos before a summit in Cartagena, Colombia attended by Pres. Obama; five soldiers are also investigated; the scandal begins when one of the agents gives his ho only $30 of the agreed $800 fee and she rats him out. On Apr. 15 the 100th anniv. of the sinking of RMS Titanic is celebrated worldwide. On Apr. 15 China loosens controls on the yuan, allowing it to fluctuate up to 1% in trading against the U.S. dollar, up from 0.5%. On Apr. 15 Taliban militants launch multiple coordinated attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan and other cities to launch their spring offensive, killing two Afghan security personnel and 17 militants. On Apr. 15 150 Islamist militants spring 400 of their brothers from prison in NW Pakistan. On Apr. 15 the Sudanese air force attacks South Sudan-held Heglig, Sudan, along with Rubkona, South Sudan; on Apr. 17 the Sudanese parliament calls for the overthrow of the govt. of South Sudan. On Apr. 15 Israeli blocks the Welcome to Palestine campaign by blocking flights for 40+ activists. On Apr. 16 the first U.N. military observers of the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria arrive in Damascus to monitor the ceasefire, and on Apr. 20 Syria allows them freedom of movement; meanwhile on Apr. 16 26 are killed in Idlib, Syria, followed by 50 more on Apr. 20; on Apr. 21 the U.N. Security Council votes 15-0-0 for Resolution 2043 to send 300 more observers. On Apr. 16 an Islamist militant throws a hand grenade into a coed school near Peshawar, Pakistan, killing one child and wounding two. On Apr. 16 a 6.7 earthquake hits Valparaiso, Chile, doing no serious damage. On Apr. 16 Dartmouth College pres. (since 2009) Jim Yong Kim (Kim Yong) (1959-) is selected as pres. #12. of the World Bank, taking office on July 1 (until ?). On Apr. 16 the trial of Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik begins, allowing him to use it as a platform to declare that his actions were needed to save Norway from multiculturalism while giving the Nazi salute; on Apr. 19 he claims that he planned to behead former Norwegian PM Gro Harlem Brundtland and post the video on the Internet. On Apr. 17 the U.S. cedes control of the military of the Repub. of Korea after 50 years, dissolving the Combined Forces Command. On Apr. 17 Australian PM Julia Gillard announces that Australian troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by Dec. 31, 2013, a year earlier than planned. On Apr. 17 Prisoners' Day in the West Bank and Gaza Strip sees Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails go on hunger strike while thousands of rally in the streets; Israeli soldier Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner hits a Danish protester in the face with his rifle, and is dismissed from his post; meanwhile Mahmoud Abbas sends a delegation to meet with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu bringing a letter listing his demands for restarting peace talks; they have not met personally since Sept. 2010. On Apr. 17 Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah offers to mediate the Syrian civil war in an interview with Julian Assange on his new show The World Tomorrow. On Apr. 18 thousands protest in Tubli, Bahrain calling for democracy and an end to the regime, also chanting against the 2012 Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix scheduled for Apr. 22; meanwhile a rally in Manama calls for the release of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who is being fed intravenously; on Apr. 19-22 more protests don't stop the race. On Apr. 18 Cuba calls Pres. Obama out for using his "imperial veto" at the Summit of the Americas after it voted to end the U.S. embargo. On Apr. 18 U.S. officials condemn graphic photos pub. by the Los Angeles Times showing troops posing with mangled corpses of alleged Afghan suicide bombers. On Apr. 19 bombings in Iraq kill 33+ and injure dozens. On Apr. 19 a U.S. UH-60 Black Hawk heli crashes in S Afghanistan, killing all four aboard. On Apr. 19 Dylan Moran (1971-) of Ireland becomes the first prof. English-speaking comedian to perform in Russia, dissing laws banning gay propaganda et al. On Apr. 20 tens of thousands demonstrate against military rule in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt. On Apr. 20 a plane crashes in a residential area near Benazir Bhutto Internat. Airport in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing 127. On Apr. 20 a tractor trailer collides with a bus near Alamo, Veracruz, Mexico, killing 43 and injuring 18. On Apr. 21 a head-on collision between two trains near Sloterdijk, Netherlands (W of Amsterdam) injures 125+. On Apr. 22 Egypt cancels its unpopular agreement with Israel to supply it with natural gas. On Apr. 22 the French 2012 pres. election results in a 2nd round on May 5-6, with Socialist mayor of Tulle (2001-8) Francois Gerard (Gérard) Georges Nicolas Hollande defeating Nicolas Sarkozy by 51.6% to 48.4% to become pres. #24 of France (2nd Socialist after Francois Mitterrand in 1981-95); he is sworn-in on May 15 (until ?). On Apr. 22 the political comedy series Veep debuts on HBO for ? episodes (until ?), starring Julia Scarlett Elizabeth Louis-Dreyfus (1961-) as Dem. vice-pres. Selina Meyer, who gets to be pres.; "The buck stops somewhere near here". On Apr. 23 a malware attack hits the Iranian Oil Ministry and Nat. Iranian Oil Co. On Apr. 23 Kazakhstan issues an official thank you to actor Sacha Baron Cohen for his char. Borat, reversing their ban. On Apr. 23 former Icelandic PM Geir Haarde is found not guilty of negligence for the 2008 economic meltdown. On Apr. 23 the world's first wild adult white orca is found off the coast of Kamchatka, Russia; they name it Iceberg. On Apr. 24 Bahrain arrests Zainab al-Khawaja, daughter of hunger striker Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. On Apr. 24 a car bomb in central Damascus, Syria injures three. On Apr. 24 a new case of mad cow disease surfaces in Calif., causing South Korean retailers to stop selling U.S. beef on Apr. 25, followed by Indonesia on Apr. 26. On Apr. 24 the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) establishes the U.S. Defense Clandestine Service to ramp up spying on Iran, North Korea, and China. On Apr. 24 Israeli PM legalizes the West Bank settlements of Bruchin, Rechelim, and Sansana. On Apr. 24 South Sudanese pres. Salva Kiir visits China to get assistance in building an oil pipeline, claiming that Sudan has declared war on it; on Apr. 25 South Sudan releases Sudanese POWs as border clash ramp down. On Apr. 24 British police arrest five suspected (Muslim?) terrorists in Luton, England. On Apr. 24 Fitch Ratings upgrades Ford Motor Co. to investment grade status. On Apr. 25 Syrian troops break the ceasefire and begin shelling Douma, Syria. On Apr. 25 Pakistan successfully tests the Shaheen-1A nuclear-capable ballistic missile, which is capable of targeting India. On Apr. 25 U.K. announces an economic decline of 0.2% in Jan.-Mar., indicating a double-dip recession. On Apr. 26 Syrian army rocket attacks on Hama kill 69 incl. several children. On Apr. 26 a suicide car bomber at the This Day newspaper office in Abuja, Nigeria kills seven. On Apr. 26 a bombing in E Afghanistan kills three USAF personnel; meanwhile an Afghan kills a U.S. service member and interpreter in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. On Apr. 26 a Kamov Ka-32 Ukrainian heli crashes in Ostrov, Romania en route to Turkey, killing all five fire fighters aboard. On Apr. 26 former Liberian pres. Charles Taylor is found guilty of 11 counts of aided and abetting war crimes, but acquitted of all counts of ordering them. On Apr. 26 40K demonstrate for the victims of Anders Breivik in Youngstorget, Oslo, Norway. On Apr. 27 blind Chinese dissident "barefoot lawyer" Chen Guangcheng (1971-) escapes house arrest and flees to the U.S. embassy in Beijing; on May 19 he and his wife and two children are granted U.S. visited and emigrate to New York City. On Apr. 27 four explosions in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine injure 27. On Apr. 27 a suicide bomber at a mosque in Damascus, Syria kills nine. On Apr. 27 the Rev. Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) kills eight incl. an infant in two attacks; on Apr. 29 they kill four Colombia soldiers trying to destroy their cocaine labs in Caqueta. On Apr. 28 the Syrian army kills 10 in Bakha, Syria N of Damascus; meanwhile the rebels stage their first seaborne assault, using inflatable dinghies, and Syria accuses U.N. secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon of "encouraging" attacks. On Apr. 28 a protest in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for electoral reforms is dispersed by police. On Apr. 28 the Lebanese navy seizes Sierra Leone-registered ship Lutfallah II from Libya allegedly carrying weapons bound for the Syrian rebels. On Apr. 28 shoe bomb attack by two insurgents on the gov.'s compound in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan kills them along with two bodyguards; U.S.-educated gov. Tooryalai Wesa is uninjured. On Apr. 28 a tent collapses in a storm at a restaurant near Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo., killing one and injuring 16. On Apr. 29 (Sun.) several explosions near a Christian service at Bayero U. in Kano, Nigeria kill 20; meanwhile an attack on the Church of Christ in Maiduguri, Nigeria kills four. On Apr. 29 a 3-way drug cartel shootout in Sinaloa, Mexico kills seven. On Apr. 29 rebels kill four officials in N Burma; meanwhile U.N. secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon visits Burma to press for more reforms. On Apr. 29 a vehicle flips over in the Bronx River Pkwy. near the Bronx Zoo in Bronx, N.Y., killing seven incl. three children. On Apr. 29 a bus crash en route to Tokyo Disneyland in Gunma Prefecture, Japan N of Tokyo kills 7+. On Apr. 29 the deadline for the destruction of all chemical weapons under the Internat. Chemical Weapons Convention is reached. On Apr. 30-May 1 govt. troops clash with troops loyal to ex-pres. Amadou Toumani Touri in Bamako, Mali, killing 14+; on May 3 the Economic Community of West African States pledges to send troops. In Apr. the U.S. opens Ft. Aguayo Naval Base in Concon, Chile to train Latin Am. soldiers for peacekeeping missions, causing protests by human rights orgs., who claim it will be "clearly oriented toward the control and repression of the civilian population". In Apr.-May JPMorgan Chase loses $2B ($6.2B?) betting on credit default swaps tied to corporate debt, paying illegal bribes to get the business then lying about the losses. On May 1 Occupy May Day sees tens of thousands march in New York City, Europe, and Asia. On May 1 Pres. Obama makes an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on the 1st anniv. of the assassination of Osama bin Laden, signing a 10-year accord with Afghan pres. Hamid Karzai defining the U.S. role after 2014. On May 1 Egyptian security forces announce the arrest several months earlier of three Iranians for an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi ambassador Ahmed Qattan in Cairo. On May 1 Chinese vice-PM Li Keqiang visits Moscow and signs a $15B strategic trade deal with Russia. On May 1 as a result of the News of the World phone hacking scandal, a govt. media committee in Britain finds that News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch is "not a fit person" to run a major internat. business. On May 2 U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton makes a high-level state visit to China, criticizing the govt. for their treatment of blind dissident Chen Guangcheng, who leaves the U.S. embassy a week after fleeing house arrest, phoning the U.S. Congress on May 3 for help in leaving China. On May 2 Chinese vice-PM Li Keqiang visits Hungarian PM Viktor Orban in Budapest. On May 2 a protest in Cairo, Egypt is attacked by unknown violent attackers using shotguns, rocks, clubs, and firebombs, who kill 20+; meanwhile the military agrees to hand over protest to any outright winner of the May 24 pres. elections. On May 2 French pres. candidates Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande hold their first and only televised debate, trading insults. On May 2 Repub. pres. candidate Newt Gingrich suspends his campaign, leaving Mitt Romney as the presumptive nominee. On May 2 after Pres. Obama leaves, a suicide bombing in a suburb of Kabul, Afghanistan kills seven. On May 2 a shootout between the army and drug cartel gunmen in Sinaloa, Mexico kills 12. On May 2 the U.N. Security Council votes 15-0-0 for Resolution 2046, threatening sanctions if the Sudanese border conflict doesn't end within 48 hours. On May 2 a court in Mannheim, Germany bans Microsoft Xbox 360 gaming consoles and its Windows 7 operating system from Germany for infringing on Motorola Mobility's patents. On May 2 a version of Edvard Munch's 1895 painting The Scream sells for $119,922,500 in an auction in Sotheby's in New York City, becoming a world record for a work of art (until ?), besting the $10.65M at Christie's in 2010 for Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust". On May 3 explosions near a police post in Makhachkala, Dagestan kill seven and injure 30; on May 16 special ops police kill the mastermind. On May 3 anti-govt. demonstrations at Aleppo U. in Syria are stopped by police, who kill four and arrest 200. On May 3 the U.S., U.K., France, Russia, and China reiterate their call to Iran to cooperate with the IAEA over its nuclear program. On May 3 after a crowd begins burning one of their colleagues alive at a cattle market, cattle robbers in Potiskum, Nigeria kill 24. On May 3 a bus en route from Rawalpindi to Skardu plunges into a mountain ravine in Kohistan, Pakistan, killing 15+ and injuring 21. On May 4 after a 2-mo. standoff, the chamber of deputies appoints foreign affairs minister Laurent Salvador Lamothe (1972-) as PM of Haiti (until ?). On May 4 demonstrators near the defense ministry in Cairo, Egypt are attacked by armed forces with tear gas, water cannons, and rocks, killing 1+ and injuring 370+; a midnight curfew in the defense ministry district is imposed. On May 4 an explosion at a political rally in Yerevan, Armenia injures 144. On May 4 a suicide bomber in a crowded market in Bajaur Agency, Pakistan kills 8+. On May 4 23 bodies incl. 14 headless and nine hanging from a bridge are found in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and identified as members of the Gulf Cartel, killed by Los Zetas; meanwhile three the bodies of three journalists are dumped in plastic bags in a canal in Boca del Rio, Veracruz, Mexico. On May 4 the trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed begins in Guantanamo Bay. On May 5 a U.S. drone attack in North Waziristan, Pakistan kills nine insurgents. On May 5 an explosion in Aleppo, Syria kills five. On May 5 a fire at a drug rehabilitation center in Lima, Peru kills 14. On May 5 a fire at a karaoke bar in Busan, South Korea kills nine and injures 10. On May 5 a flash flood of the Seti River near Annapurna, Nepal kills 17, with 47 missing. On May 6 hundreds of dolphins and 1K+ birds incl. 500+ pelicans are found dead of the coast of N Peru. On May 7 a NATO air strike in Badghis Province, Afghanistan kills 14 civilians and injures six, causing Afghan pres. Hamid Karzai to summon U.S. envoy Ryan Cocker and NATO cmdr. Gen. John Allen to discuss it. On May 7 elections in Bahamas are a landslide V over the ruling Free Nat. Movement Party of Hubert Ingraham by the Progressive Liberal Party of ex-PM (2002-7) Perry Gladstone Christie (1943-) who is sworn-in as PM of Bahamas on May 8 (until ?). On May 7 Victor-Viorel Ponta (1972-), leader of the Social Dem. Party (PSD) is appointed by pres. Traian Basescu as PM of Romania (until). On May 7 Vladimir Putin is sworn-in for a 3rd 6-year term as pres. of Russia. On May 7 the Sidi Mahmoud Ben Amar Tomb in Timbuktu, Mali is burned by al-Qaida-linked Islamist fighters. On May 7 the Malaysian Nat. Fatwa Committee issues a fatwa against Muslims participating in "unproductive demonstrations". On May 7 the CIA announces the foiling of a plot by al-Qaida-inked Fahd al-Quso of Yemen to explode an improved underwear bomb on a U.S.-bound airliner; on May 8 U.S. officials admits that the wannabe suicide bomber is a CIA double agent. On May 8 200 former anti-Gaddafi rebels attack the office of interim PM Abdurrahim El-Keib in Tripoli, Libya, but he escapes unharmed. On May 8 after China expels its reporter Melissa Chan, Al Jazeera closes its English-language bureau in Beijing, China. On May 8 the New York Court of Appeals rules in People v. James Kent that merely viewing or storing child porno is not illegal as long as one isn't aware of the content and didn't download it in order to view it, pissing-off legislators, who vow to close all loopholes. On May 8 Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is given her first passport in 24 years. On May 8 (Tues.) N.C. by 61%-39% approves a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. On May 8-? the Air India Pilots' Strike. On May 9 Pres. Obama flip-flops and comes out in support of same-sex marriage, very gay of him, hard to imagine a closet Muslim now except the gay kind of closet; this indicates he's really a New Ager? On May 9 the 2012 Jalisco Massacre sees the chopped-up remains of 18 bodies found inside cars near Chalapa (S of Guadalajara), Jalisco, Mexico. On May 9 a bomb explodes near a convoy of U.N. observers in Daraa, Syria, injuring 3+ Syrian soldiers. On May 9 U.S. missile strikes at an al-Qaida stronghold in Jaar, Yemen kill eight militants. On May 9 Mark Rothko's 1961 Orange, Red, Yellow sells for $86.9M at a Christie's auction in New York City; meanwhile Andy Warhol's 1963 Double Elvis sells for $37M at a Sotheby's auction in New York City. On May 9 a Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 with 44 aboard disappears after takeoff from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia; the wreckage is found on May 10 in a mountainous area. On May 10 400K U.K. public sector workers strike over pensions. On May 10 two nearly-simultaneous explosions (1kg of explosives) near the military intel HQ in Qazaz, Damascus, Syria kill 55 and injure 372. On May 10 a U.S. airstrike in Jaar, Yemen kills Anshar al Sharia fighters. On May 10 the Internat. Red Cross suspends operations in Pakistan over the abduction and killing of health program mgr. Khalil Rasjed Dale four months earlier. On May 10 the U.S. Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 is introduced by U.S. Rep. (R-Tex.) (1995-) William McClellan "Mac" Thornberry (1958-) to amend the 1948 U.S. Smith-Mundt Act prohibiting the domestic dissemination of propaganda produced for foreign audiences; it passes on Dec. 28. On May 11 the Obamagon, er, Pentagon suspends the U.S. military online course Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism, which teaches that Islam is the irreconcilable enemy of the U.S., and that Mecca and Medina might have to be nuked - but it's the truth? On May 11 a missing piece of the Mayan Calendar is announced, proving that the Mayans didn't believe that 2012 would be da end of da world after all. On May 11 (11 p.m.) drug cartel gunmen attack the offices of the El Manana newspaper in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. On May 12 Syrian opposition leader Shadi al-Moulawi (1987-) is arrested in Tripoli for planning terrorist attacks in Lebanon, setting off violent protests that kill 8+, causing him to be released on May 22. On May 12 two U.S. drone strikes in SE Yemen kills 11 suspected al-Qaida fighters; on May 13 a Yemeni army offensive kills 10+ more, followed by 44 more in Zinjibar and Jaar on May 15. On May 12 four NATO soldiers die in separate incidents in S Afghanistan. On May 12 the European Commission announces that the EU economy is going to contract by 0.3% this year. On May 12 the Spanish Indignants Movement celebrates its 1st anniv. with 100K protesting in Spanish cities, combined with more protests in Lisbon, London, Frankfurt, and Tel Aviv. On May 12 Iranian pres. Imadinnajacket calls Israel "nothing more than a mosquito". On May 12 Repub. pres. candidate Mitt Romney condemns same-sex marriage in a speech at Liberty U. in Lynchburg, Va. On May 12 Center for Am. Progress pres. Neera Tanden tweets to Hillary Clinton that she attended a Democracy Alliance meeting with leftist billionaire George Soros, and he told her that he regretted backing Barack Obama in the U.S. pres. primary because of lack of access to him in the White House, but that he thinks that Hillary would give him more. On May 12-Aug. 12 the 2012 World Expo (Expo 2012) in Yeosu, South Korea has the theme "The Living Ocean and Coast". On May 13 the Cadereyta Jimenez Massacre sees the discovery of 49 dismembered bodies near Monterrey, Mexico; the Los Zetas drug cartel is suspected. On May 13 violent clashes in Tripoli, Lebanon between pro and anti-Assad forces kills several. On May 13 South Korean pres. Lee Myung-bak makes the first official pres. visit to Burma since 1983. On May 13 Afghan peace negotiator Arsala Rahmani is assassinated in W Kaboom. On May 13 Caesar Achellam, senior cmdr. of the Lord's Resistance Army is captured in the Central African Repub. (CAR) by Ugandan troops. On May 13 (10:00 GMT) a 6.2 earthquake on the S Peruvian-Chilean Border. On May 13 rains and floods in Pingjiang County, Hunan Province, China destroys 3.5K homes, causing 28K to be evacuated. On May 13 an Agni Air flight crashes while trying to land at Jomsom Airport in N Nepal, killing 15 of 21 aboard incl. Indian child actress Taruni Sachdev and her mother. On May 14 fighting between govt. troops and rebels in Rastan, Syria kills 30+, incl. 23 govt. soldiers, becoming a major V for da rebels. On May 14 a hunger strike by 1.5K Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons ends. On May 14 Repub. candidate Ron Paul ends his pres. campaign. On May 15 govt. troops open fire on a funeral procession in Idlib, Syria, killing 20. On May 15 an assassination attempt in Bogota, Colombia injures former interior minister Fernando Londono (Londoño), killing his driver and a police officer. On May 15 thousands of Palestinians demonstrate on the 64th anniv. of the Nakba (Catastrophe), the 1948 Israeli declaration of independence. On May 15 a man sets himself on fire outside the courthouse in Oslo, Norway where Anders Behring Breivik is on trial. On May 17/18 masked gunmen kidnap Mexican journalist Marcos Antonio Avila Garcia (b. 1973) in Ciudad Obregon for talking too much; his tortured corpse is found in a plastic bag in Empalme. On May 18 Queen Elizabeth II hosts a lunch at Windsor Castle for 20+ monarchs, getting criticized for permitting the king of Bahrain to attend in the midst of repression of protesters; a dinner hosted by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall draws protesters although neither he nor the queen attend. On May 18 the Group of Eight meets at Camp David to discuss the Greek debt crisis. On May 18 Facebook stages its IPO, which closes nearly flat at $38.23 a share; the Dow Jones, NSDAQ, and S&P 500 close at their lowest levels of the year. On May 18 the Olympic Flame arrives in the U.K. on board a flight from Athens to start the torch relay. On May 18 Am. psychiatrist Robert Leopold Spitzer (1932-) apologizes for for his "fatally flawed" 2001 study that claimed that gays could be "cured". On May 19 a car bomb near a military complex in Deir ez-Zor, Syria kills nine. On May 19 a suicide bomber at a police checkpoint in Khost Province, Afghanistan kills 10. On May 19 an IED explodes in front of a vocational school in Brindisi, Italy, killing a 16-y.-o. female student. On May 19 an explosion in a road tunnel in Zhuzhou, Hunan Province, China kills 20. On May 19 a rally car plows through spectators in Var, France, killing two and injuring 17. On May 19 atheist celeb Richard Dawkins announces support for a plan by British education secy. Michael Grove to send free King James Bibles to state schools. On May 20 an annular solar eclipse can be seen from N China to Calif. On May 20 a roadside bomb explodes near a U.N. convoy in Douma, Damascus, Syria, killing 34. On May 20 a 6.0 earthquake in N Italy centered in Emilia Romagna kills 6+ and injures dozens. On May 20 Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu warns his cabinet of "illegal infiltrators flooding the country", saying that the current 60K African immigrants could grow by 10x. On May 20 Tomislav Nikolic (1952-) of the Serbian Progressive Party is elected pres. of Serbia, taking office on May 31 (until ?). On May 21 IAEA dir.-gen. Yukiya Amano visits Tehran, Iran for talks to make them cooperate. On May 21 a NATO summit in Afghanistan is attended by Pres. Obama, who assures Afghanistan that it won't be left on its own after NATO troops leave. On May 21 a suicide bomber at an army rehearsal for the Unity Day parade in Sana'a, Yemen kills 120+ and injures 350+. On May 21 pro and anti Assad protesters clash in Beirut, Lebanon, killing two. On May 21 FARC rebels ambush Colombian soldiers near the border with Venezuela, killing 12. On May 21 a bus plunges 260 ft. off a cliff in Albania, killing 11 and injuring 22, mostly students. On May 22 the Hampi Express collides with another train in Andhra Pradesh, India, killing 14 and injuring 30. On May 22 Cmdr. Sarah West (1972-) becomes the first female officer to take command of a major British warship, the Royal Navy frigate HMS Portland. On May 22 four aid workers are kidnapped by Taliban militants in the N Afghan province of Badakhshan; they are rescued by ISAF forces on June 2. On May 23 a U.S. drone attack in N Waziristan, Pakistan kills five. On May 23 Pakistani physician Shakil (Shakeel) Afridi (1962-), who helped the CIA track down Osama bin Laden via DNA samples from a fake vaccine program is sentenced to 33 years in prison for treason. On May 23 U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton attends the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) trade show in Tampa, Fla., sharing her vision of "smart power" and the crucial role her State Dept. is playing in extending the power of America's "international counterterrorism network". On May 23-24 the 2013 Egyptian pres. election On May 24/25 Scarborough, Ont., Canada-born gay pinup model Luka Rocco Magnotta (Eric Clinton Kirk Newman) (1982-) kills and dismembers Chinese internat. student Lin Jun (b. 1978) with an ice pick and kitchen knife, then mails his limbs to elementary schools and federal political party offices, posting a video of the murder online, complete with scenes of necrophilia and cannibalism, leaading to his arrest in an Internet cafe in Berlin on June 4; on Dec. 23, 2014 he is convicted of first-degree murder, and given a life sentence with possible parole in 19 years. On May 25 a Los Zetas car bomb in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico injures 10 police officers. On May 25 the Syrian army massacres 108 incl. dozens of women and children in Houla, Syria, causing Turkey, Germany, Canada et al. to expel Syrian diplomats; meanwhile Russia announces that it is "categorically against" foreign intervention in the conflict; on June 1 the U.N. Human Rights Council votes to condemn the massacre despite Russia, China, and Cuba voting against the resolution. On May 25 French pres. Francois Hollande makes a surprise visit to Afghanistan to see his troops, defending his decision to withdraw them by the end of the year. On May 26 British army capt. Stephen James "Steve" Healey (b. 1982) is KIA by an IED in Helmand Province, Afghanistan; meanwhile CNN announces that the NATO death toll in Afghanistan has reached 3K. On May 26 Ansar Dine and the Nat. Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad form an independent Islamic state in N Mali. On May 26 a landslide at an illegal gold mine in Bogor, West Java kills 6+. On May 26 gunman Eero Samuli Hiltunen (1953-) in Hyvinkaa, Finland (near Helsinki) kills two and injures eight. On May 26 China releases an oxymoron annual report on human rights, pointing to the U.S. for arresting Occupy Wall Street protesters. On May 27 Tropical Storm Beryl hits Jacksonville, Fla. On May 27 a NATO air strike in Suri Khail, Afghanistan kills a family of eight incl. six children. On May 27 40K rally in Tbilisi, Georgia calling for the ouster of pres. Mikheil Saakasvilii. On May 28 Indian PM Manmohan Singh makes the first official visit to Burma since 1987. On May 28 a heli crashes in E Afghanistan, killing two ISAF troops. On May 28 a fire at a shopping mall in Doha, Qatar kills 19. On May 28 a bomb in a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya injures 33. On May 28 two Tibetans immolate themselves in Lhasa, Tibet, the first time ever. On May 29 North Korea reports its worst drought in 50 years. On May 29 a 5.8 earthquake in Bologna, Italy kills 24. On May 29 an assassination attempt on Somali pres. Sheikh Sharif Ahmed by Al Shabaab leaves him unharmed. On May 29 after 2K protest, Brett Murray's painting The Spear is taken down from a gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa. On May 29 U.S. defense secy. Leon Panetta calls for the U.S. to strengthen its naval presence in Asia to counter China. On May 30 a gunman opens fire in Seattle, Wash., killing three and injuring two before committing suicide. On May 31 a series of bombings in Bagdead, Irock kills 14. On May 31 Egypt formally ends its 31-year state of emergency. On May 31 a suicide bomber at a police HQ in Kandahar, Afghanistan kills five policemen. On May 31 German engineer Edgar Fritz Raupach, held hostage by Islamists in Kano, Nigeria since Jan. is killed by his captors during a botched rescue operation. On May 31 Am. conservative Christian lobby group One Million Moms launches a campaign against DC and Marvel Comics over their decision to include openly gay chars. In May three top Mexican military men incl. Gen. Tomas Angeles Dauahare are arrested on suspicion of working for a drug cartel; on Apr. 20, 2013 Dauahare is released. On June 1 an armed Palestinian infiltrator and an Israeli soldier are killed during an exchange of fire along the Gaza border, and at least three militants are injured during an Israeli air strike on Gaza. On June 1 Venezuela bans private gun ownership. On June 2 Google displays a special Diamond Jubilee Google Doodle featuring the queen's profile, corgis, and diamonds; on June 3 the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant features 1K+ boats, the largest flotilla seen on the island in 350 years; on June 4 the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert features Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, and Robbie Williams; the Sex Pistols re-release "God Save the Queen", which was banned by the BBC. On June 2 clashes between pro and anti Assad forces kill 12 and injure 25 in Tripoli, Lebanon. On June 2 a U.S. drone attack in South Waziristan, Pakistan kills two suspected militants incl. "good" Taliban leader Mullah Nazir. On June 2 a court in Cairo, Egypt convicts former pres. Hosni Mubarak and former interior minister Habib al-Adly of complicity in the killings of demonstrators in the 2011 Egyptian Rev.; both receive life sentences; Mubarak and his two sons Gamal and Alaa are acquitted on separate corruption charges. On June 2 an Allied Air cargo plane crashes into a minibus after overshooting the runway at Kotoka Internat. Airport Accra, Ghana, killing 12. On June 2 a shooting in the food court of the Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto, Canada kills one man and injures seven others. On June 3 a U.S. drone attack in South Waziristan, Pakistan kills 10 suspected militants. On June 3 a suicide car bombing outside Living Faith Church in Bauchi, Nigeria kills 15 injures 42. On June 3 a plane crashes in a residential neighborhood in Lagos, Nigeria, killing all 153 aboard plus 10 people on the ground. On June 3 U.S. defense secy. Leon Panetta visits a former U.S. base in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, becoming the first visit by a U.S. official of cabinet rank to Vietnam since the Vietnam War, signalling growing ties, and serving cold lunch to the Chinese; meanwhile Chinese authorities crack down on political activists marking the 23rd anniv. of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, and on June 4 it slams the U.S. for calling for them to free those imprisoned for them. On June 3 demonstrations are held in Istanbul, Turkey against a plan to limit the time for abortions. On June 4 gunmen kill 11 at a rehab clinic in Torreon, Coahuila. On June 4 a U.S. drone attack kills 15 suspected militants in North Waziristan, Pakistan, incl. #2 al-Qaida man Abu Yahya al-Libi; al-Qaida later admits that the 9/11/2002 Benghazi Attack was done in revenge for his murder. On June 4 a car bomb near govt. offices in Baghdad, Iraq kills 26 and injures 190. On June 4 a Buddhist mob attacks a bus in W Myanmar, killing nine Muslims; on June 9 Bengali Rohingya riots in W Myanmar kill 20 and burn 300 homes. On June 4 armed members of the Al-Awfia Brigade take over a runway in Tripoli, Libya demanding their leader's release before they are chased away by troops. On June 4 a bus carrying a wedding party plunges into a ravine near Islamabad, Pakistan, killing 23 incl. six children and injuring 60. On June 4 three Armenian soldiers are killed on the Azerbaijani border; on June 5 Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of killing five of its soldiers. On June 4 China blocks terms on the Internet related to the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre. On June 5 authorities discover seven dismembered bodies in Sinaloa, along with a message tying them to the Los Zetas cartel. On June 5 Der Spiegel pub. an article claiming that Israel is arming German-supplied subs with nuclear-tipped missiles, sparking a debate about whether it is Germany's duty to help Israel defend itself. On June 5 (22:09 UTC) - June 6 (04:49 UTC) a solar transit of Venus occurs (not visible from North Am.), becoming #2 and the last of the cent.; next: 2117, 2125. On June 5-6 17 militants and two govt. soldiers are killed in clashes in S Yemen. On June 5-7 Russian pres. Vladimir Putin visits China, which claims that Beijing and Moscow have been playing a "positive role" on Syria, and reiterate their opposition to foreign intervention in the conflict. On June 6 NATO stages an air strike in Logar Province, Afghanistan, allegedly killing 18 civilians incl. women and children. On June 6 two suicide bombers in a market in Kandahar, Afghanistan kill 22 and injure 50. On June 6 Mexican pres. Felipe Calderon signs a law making Mexico only the 2nd country to introduce binding targets on climate change. On June 6 Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu announces 300 new settler homes for the Jewish settlement of Beit El in the West Bank; on June 7 an additional 550 are announced by Israeli construction minister Ariel Attias. On June 6 a video by Baptist pastor Charles Worley of Maiden, N.C. outlining plans to round up gays and imprison them behind an electric fence until they die causes a firestorm of controversy. On June 7 U.S. defense secy. Leon Panetta makes an unannounced trip to Kabul, Afghanistan, warning that the U.S. is "reaching the limits of our patience here" with regard to pesky Pakistan. On June 7 an Israeli court approves the deportation of hundreds of illegal immigrant "infiltrators" from South Sudan. On June 7 a school bus plunges into a ravine N of La Paz, Bolivia, killing 16 students and injuring 32. On June 7-9 (night) F1 protesters clash with riot police in Montreal, Canada near the Grand Prix events on the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Crescent. On June 8 Amnesty Internat. issues a report claiming that Israel is guilty of torture, unfair detainment, and other human rights violations; the alleged involvement of an anti-Israel activist is used to discredit it. On June 8 clashes in a pro-Syrian govt. neighborhood of Tripoli, Lebanon kill one and injures three. On June 8 seven U.N. peacekeepers are killed in an ambush in Ivory Coast. On June 8 a bus carrying govt. employees near Peshawar, Pakistan is bombed, killing 19. On June 8 a pro-dem. rally in support of Nabeel Rajab in Bahrain is broken-up by police with tear gas. On June 8 protesters in Cairo, Egypt demand the ban of ex-PM Ahmed Shafiq from the pres. runoff election. On June 8 demonstration in Amman, Jordan protests a govt. decision to raise fuel and electricity prices to ease budget deficit. On June 8 14 dismembered corpses are found inside a vehicle in Ciudad Mante, Tamaulipas, Mexico 250 mi. from the Texas border. On June 9 four foreign soldiers are killed by the ISA in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan. On June 9-10 a Syrian army offensive in Homs, Syria kills 35. On June 10 Kenyan cabinet minister George Saitoti and five are killed in a heli crash in the Ngong Hills near Nairobi. On June 10 a 6.0 earthquake near the Aegean Sea resort of Oludeniz (Ölüdeniz) in S Turkey injures dozens esp. in the city of Fethiye. On June 11 an ambulance hits a roadside bomb in Sar-e-Pul Province, Afghanistan; meanwhile a Taliban attack in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan kills four. On June 11 a landslide triggered by two quakes in N Afghanistan kill 80+. On June 11 the U.S. announces sanctions on Somalis who stand in the way of a U.N.-supervised roadmap for peace in Somalia. On June 11 after the U.S. announces rewards of $3M-$7M for info. about Al-Shabaab cmdrs., it offers a reward of 10 camels for info. about the whereabouts of Pres. Barack Obama, and 10 chickens and 10 roosters for info. on Hillary Clinton. On June 11 the U.S. withdraws a team of supply route negotiators from Pakistan, with the Pentagon announcing: "The decision was reached to bring the team home for a short period of time." On June 11 the U.S. exempts seven countries on three continents from economic sanctions in return for cutting imports of Iranian oil. On June 15 after the DREAM Act fails to pass in Congress, Pres. Obama announces the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, allowing certain undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as minors to receive a renewable 2-year period of deferred action from deportation along with eligibility for a work permit. On June 16 the Chinese Shenzhou 9 spacecraft blasts off from Jiuquan Launch Center, carrying Jing Haipeng (1966-), Liu Wang (1969-), and Liu Yang (1978-) (first Chinese female astronaut), returning on June 29. On June 19 after a cross-border attack on Israel, the pro-al-Qaida Majlis Shura al-Mujahidin fi Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis group is formed in the Sinai Peninsula to practice Islam the Salafist way, considering Hamas and Alwawite Syria as enemies, although lesser ones than Israel. On June 20 Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison gets fellow billionaire David Murdock to sell his his 98% of Lana'i (Lanai) Island, known as "the Pineapple Island". On June 22 pres. left-leaning Fernando Lugo is impeached by parliament, and vice-pres. Luis Federico Franco Gomez (1962-) of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party becomes pres. of Paraguay (until Aug. 15, 2013); the right-wing coup was about making a deal with Montreal-based mining co. Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) for a $4B aliminum plant on the Parana River? On June 22-25 the Alan Turing Centenary Conference at the U. of Manchester. On June 23 the Waldo Canyon Fire 4 mi. NW of Colorado Springs, Colo. (ends July 10) causes 32K to flee, destroying 346 homes and causes $453.7M damage, becoming the most destructive fire in Colo. until the Black Forest Fire next year. On June 24 China's Shenzou 9 spacecraft carrying three astronauts incl. the first-ever female docks with orbiting module Tiangong 1, making them country #3 after the U.S. and Russia. On June 24 Lonesome George (b. 1911?), the last Pinta Island Tortoise dies at Galapagos Nat. Park. On June 24 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court rules 7-2 in Miller v. Ala. that mandatory sentences of life without parole are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders, extending Graham v. Fla. (2010), which had allowed it for murder; on Jan. 25, 2016 they rule 6-3 in Montgomery v. La. that this ruling must be applied retroactively, affecting 2.3K cases. On June 24 Aaron Sorkin's political drama series The Newsroom debuts on HBO for 25 episodes (until Dec. 14, 2014), starring Jeffrey Warren "Jeff" Daniels (1955-) as anchorman Will McAvoy, with an ensemble cast. On June 28 a Taliban missle attack in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan injures 10 civilians. On June 28 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court rules 5-4 in Nat. Federation of Independent Business v. Sibelius to uphold the 2010 U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) AKA Obamacare along with the 2010 U.S. Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA), finding tht the individual mandate to buy health insurance by 2014 is an exercise of Congress' taxing power regardless of the Commerce Clause and Necessary and Proper Clause; it also finds that the planned expansion of Medicaid that would coerce states by threatening the loss of existing Medicaid funding is unconstitutional; a betrayal of conservative principles by Chief Justice Roberts, or an affirmation of them?; dissenters incl. Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito, meaning that a Jew (Stephen Breyer) and three women (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan) threw it for Pres. Obama? On June 30 Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi (Morsy) (1951-) becomes Egyptian pres. #5 (until ?). In June the Nat. Security Five led by U.S. rep. (R-Minn.) Michele Bachmann call attention to U.S. govt. infiltration by the Muslim Brotherhood; too bad, after criticism by both parties their request for investigations is ignored by the pro-MB Obama admin. In June the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade (Liwa Shuhada al-Yarmouk) in Syria is formed by Al-Khal (Arab. "the Uncle") (-2015), who changes it from another Free Syrian Army group to pro-ISIS after clashes with Jabhat al-Nusra at the end of the year. On July 1 the deadline is reached to impose a full embargo of Iranian oil by the U.S. and EU. On July 7 Enrique Pena (Peña) Nieto (1966-) of the ever-corrupt PRI is elected, and on Dec. 12 he becomes pres. #57 of Mexico (until ?), causing protests. On July 7 Libyans vote in free elections for the first time since 1969. On July 18 a Muslim terrorist attacks a bus full of Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria, killing six plus himself. On July 19 Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee debuts on Crackle Web TV for ? episodes (until ?); episode #42 "Just Tell Him You're the President" (Dec. 30, 2015) features Barack Obama and Jerry Seinfield in a 1963 Corvette Sting Ray. On July 20 brilliant science student James Eagan Holmes (1987-) (who likes to die his hair orange) unleashes an attack on a Century movie theater in Aurora, Colo. during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises", killing 12 and injuring 58; the police later find that he booby-trapped his apt.; the political backlash results in Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper signing new gun control laws next Mar. 20, the day after the Colo. Dept. of Corrections head is shot to death at his home; meanwhile Holmes converts to Islam. On July 23 a coordinated series of 37 attacks kills 100+ in Iraq, becoming the greatest death toll since the U.S. withdrawal. On July 24 John Atta Mills (b. 1944) dies, and his vice-pres., historian John Dramani Mahama (1958-) becomes pres. of Ghana (until ?). On July 25 snow falls in Colo. On July 25 Taliban fighters in Kunar Province, Afghanistan fire a new generation U.S.-made Stinger missile at a U.S. Army Chinook CH-47 heli, but they forget to arm it, and it lands safely and a U.S. gunship destroys the fighters; the missile ID is traced to the CIA, who are keeping a cache in Qatar; U.S. ambassador John Christopher "Chris" Stevens (1960-2012) is sent to Benghazi, Libya to retrieve U.S. Stinger missiles supplied to Ansar al Sharia without Congressional permission that he brokered for Hillary Clinton through arms dealer Marc Turi? On July 27 asst. U.S. atty. gen. Tom Perez refuses to promise the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution that it will never entertain or advance a Sharia-type anti-blasphemy law. On July 27-Aug. 12 the XXX (30th) Summer Olympics are held in London, England; 10,820 athletes from 204 countries participate; the games are opened by Queen Elizabeth II; Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor (since 1992) Esa-Pekka Salonen carries the Olympic Flame; Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Brunei enter female athletes for the first time; women's boxing makes its debut, making it the first Olympics at which every sport has female competitors; the U.S. wins 104 medals, followed by China (88), Russia (82), the U.K. (65), and Germany (44); Michael Phelps of the U.S. wins his 22nd medal, becoming the most decorated Olympic athlete ever (until ?); the World Shakespeare Festival, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Co. accompanies the games; South African sprinter Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius (1986-) becomes the first double-leg amputee to participate in the Olympics. On July 28 Hizbollah stages a terrorist attack in Burgas, Bulgaria that kills the Bulgarian bus driver along with five Israelis. On July 30-31 the 2012 India Power Blackouts leave 620M without power. In July the U.S. Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colo. Civil Rights Commission begins when same-sex couple Charlie Craig and David Mullins order a custom wedding cake from Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver, Colo., and Christian anti-gay owner Jack Phillips refuses their business because of their sexuality, and they decline to seek another cake shop, instead going straight to the Colo. Civil Rights Commission, which comes down on the shop bigtime, showering them with bureaucratic demands, causing Phillips to fight back in court while threatening to go out of biz rather than comply; on Dec. 5, 2017 the U.S. Supreme Court takes oral arguments. In July the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations pub. a report exposing the role of HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp.) in money-laundering and global narcotics and terrorism financing, incl. its ties to Al-Rajhi Bank, the largest private bank in Saudi Arabia, founded by the Al-Rajhi brothers, led by Sulaiman Abdul Aziz Al-Rajhi. In late July Rashad Hussain, Pres. Obama's special envoy to the Org. of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meets in Mauritania with Abdallah bin Bayyah, an associate of Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi on the topic of "challenges faced by religious minorities in Muslim-majority communities". On Aug. 4 47 Shiite Iranian pilgrims are massacred by gunmen in Sayeda Zeinab 10 mi. S of Damascus. On Aug. 5 (10:30 a.m.) (Sun.) the Sikh Temple of Wisc. near Milwaukee, Wisc. is attacked by white supremacist Army vet Wade Michael Page (b. 1971), who kills six and injures four before committing suicide. On Aug. 6 NASA'a Curiosity rover lands on Mars. On Aug. 11 (5 p.m. local time) a 6.4 earthquake rocks Iran, killing 50 and injuring 400+; a 6.3 earthquake follows at ?. On Aug. 11 (night) teen jocks rape an incapacitated female student at Steubenville H.S. in Ohio; Ma'lik Richmond and Trent Mays are later convicted of rape. On Aug. 12 Egyptian armed forces CIC (since 1991) Gen. Mohamed Hussein Tantawi is replaced by Gen. Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi (1954-), who also becomes defense minister (until ?), keeping the secularist military in safe hands out of the reach of the Muslim Brotherhood and their pal Pres. Obama. On Aug. 13 the police procedural seies Major Crimes debuts on TNT for ? episodes (until ?) as a spinoff of "The Closer", starring Mary Eileen McDonnell (1952-) as Capt. Sharon Raydor of the Major Crimes Div. of the LAPD. On Aug. 15 two grenades explode in a mosque in Kabul, injuring 23 civilians. On Aug. 15 after looking them up on the Southern Poverty Law Center Web site, Floyd Lee Corkins II (b. 1985) attempted to enter the HQ of theanti-same-sex-marriage Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., shooting guard Leonardo Johnson in the left arm before being wrestled to the ground; on Sept. 19, 2013 he is sentenced 25 years in prison. On Aug. 21-Sept. 1 Category 1 Hurricane Isaac kills 34 and causes $2.4B damage in the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba, the Bahamas, and the SE U.S. On Aug. 21 after a fight at Silk's Gentlemen's Club, British Muslim Aqab Hussain (1991-) plows his car into a group of revelers in Manchester, England, leaving a blind man brain-damaged; on Oct. 2, 2013 he is convicted of four counts of attempted murder. On Aug. 22 Russia becomes member #156 of the World Trade Org. (WTO), and Vanuatu becomes member #157. On Aug. 22 the Syrian army shells parts of Damascus, Syria, killing 47; meanwhile the U.N. estimates that 18K have been killed in the 17-mo. Syrian civil war, and China accuses the U.S. of using "red line" remarks as a questionable "calculus" to intervene militarily in yet another Middle East country. On Apr. 22 clashes between the Pokomo and Orma tribes in Kenya over cattle grazing rights kill 48+. On Aug. 22 a tourist plane crashes in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in SW Kenya, killing four and injuring three. On Aug. 31 after Azerbaijan pardons Ramil Safarov, convicted of killing an Armenian soldier in Hungary in 2004, Armenia severs diplomatic relations with Hungary. On Sept. 7 Canada cuts diplomatic ties with Iran over its support for Syria et al. Onu Sept. 9 Afghanistan declares the first Massoud Day in honor of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the martyred U.S. ally in the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida. On Sept. 11 fires in garment factories in Karachi and Lahore, Pakistan kill 257 and injure 600+. The Second 9/11 shows Pres. Obama asleep at the switch worse than Pres. George W. Bush? On Sept. 11 (9/11/2012) after a mass protest against the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt inflamed by a U.S.-made anti-Islam video shown on Egyptian TV, the Sept. 11 (9/11), 2012 Benghazi Attack sees the U.S. consulate in Libya attacked by al-Qaida terrorists, torturing and killing (gay?) U.S. ambassador (since June 7) John Christopher Stevens (b. 1960) and three other Americans by Sept. 12, becoming the first U.S. ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1981; diplomatic security agent David Ubben and ex-Navy SEALS turned CIA contractors Tyrone Snowden "Rone" Woods (b. Jan. 15) and Glen Anthony "Bub" Doherty (b. 1970) attempt to save Stevens in a 13-hour battle after they learn of an order to stand down from somebody up high, and Woods and Doherty are KIA; Stevens is carried through the streets by the jihadists for five hours, while Obama heads to Las Vegas, Nev. to raise funds and leaves it to his subordinates to make it into a case of Islamophobia to help his friends at CAIR?; the Obama admin. at first blames it on a Muslim mob enraged by a YouTube video titled Innocence of Muslims: The Crimes of Prophet Mohammed by Calif. filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (Mark Basseley Youssef) (Sam Bacile) (1957-) (although there is no mob in Benghazi, only Cairo), with the White House personally telephoning YouTube to take it down; meanwhile Woods and Doherty are KIA, and Ubben's leg is shredded, and he has to suffer for 20 hours before a rescue plane arrives; on Sept. 15 Nakoula is arrested on trumped-up charges, becoming the first in U.S. history arrested for violating Muslim anti-blasphemy laws, then held for violating probation on a 2010 bank fraud conviction; he is not released until Aug. 6, 2013, on supervised probation; no surprise, the Obama admin. stubbornly refuses to blame it on Islamic terrorism, doing nothing to respond until ?; Nakoula is a Muslim and agent for the U.S. Justice Dept., and the video is Obama agitprop created by govt.-connected Stanley Associates?; the White House originally tried to blame the Bible exposition video God vs. Allah by Pastor Jon Courson of Ore. before switching to Nakoula's, probably because the latter name sounds Muslim?; on Sept. 12 Obama gives an interview to Steve Krofts of 60 Minutes, in which he utters the soundbyte: "You're right that this is not a situation that was exactly the same as what happened in Egypt, and my suspicion is, is that there are folks involved in this who were looking to target Americans from the start"; they don't air it for over amonth; meanwhile the Repubs. begin asking questions, ramping up a full investigation; on Sept. 14 Hillary Clinton tweets to her Muslim aide Huma Abedin: "I'm giving you credit for inspiring the 'peaceful' protests"'; the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohammed Morsi were behind the attack?; Pres. Assad and Hezbollah were behind the attack to get even for Stevens' role in smuggling weapons into Syria?; on Dec. 29, 2013 an article in the New York Times by David D. Kirkpatrick whitewashes the massacre, blaming it on the movie again; in 2013 retired U.S. Adm. James Lyons claims that the kidnapping was orchestrated by Obama so he could negotiate his release in return for freeing Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman; in early May 2014 a smoking gun email is discovered, showing White House political operatives telling U.N. ambassador Susan Rice to claim the attack was the result of the Internet video, and Hillary Clinton uttering the soundbyte: "We are going to have the filmmaker arrested"; on May 20, 2015 it is revealed that the U.S. govt. knew on Sept. 12 that the attack was planned 10 days in advance by an al-Qaida affiliate called Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman (BCOAR); meanwhile on May 20 despite all their b.s. about not wanting to attack First Amendment rights by banning a boring badly-made satire video, the 9th U.S. Circuit Appeals Court rules that it was a violation of the you know what Amendment to force YouTube to take it down. On Sept. 15 anti-U.S. demonstrations by Muslims are staged throughout the Muslim world and Europe, incl. riots in Sydney, Australia; in 2013 retired U.S. Adm. James Lyons claims that the kidnapping was orchestrated by Obama so he could negotiate his release in return for freeing Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman; in May 2016 Trey Gowdy concludes that there was no way for help to reach Benghazi on the night of the attack. On Sept. 15 the Islamist rebel Seleka (Séléka) coalition emerges in Central African Repub. (CAR), initially called CPSK-CPJP, going on to work to overthrow the regime of pres. Francois Bozize. On Sept. 16 a green-on-blue attack in Mizan District, Zabul Province, Afghanistan by six Afghan policemen pissed-off at the Youtube video "Innocence of Muslims" kills four Internat. Security Assistance Force members and a policeman. On Sept. 25 U.S. Pres. Obama gives a speech to the U.N. Gen. Assembly, uttering the soundbyte: "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam", adding: "But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied" - whadya gonna do, kill me? On Sept. 26 (Yom Kippur) while thousands protest outside the bldg., Iranian pres. (2005-13) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (1956-) gives a speech to the U.N. Gen. Assembly, criticizing the U.S. for the manner of Osama bin Laden's killing and questioning the motives of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for running for U.S. pres, calling Israelis "uncivilized Zionists"; the U.S. boycotts his speech. On Sept. 27 Robert Doherty's crime drama series Elementary, based on the stories of Arthur Conan Doyle and set in New York City debuts on CBS-TV for ? episodes (until ?), starring London, England-born Jonathan "Jonny" Lee Miller (1972-) as recovering drug addict Sherlock Holmes, and Lucy Liu (1968-) as Dr. Joan Watson, who assist the NYPD in solving crimes. In Sept. the Lakota Sioux Nation under Russell Means (b. 1939) declares that it is seceding from the U.S.; means dies on Oct. 22. On Oct. 2 Boko Haram gunmen open fire on mourners at a Christian funeral in Mubi, Nigeria, killing 20 and injuring 15, after which 2K enraged non-Muslim youths in Sapele, Nigeria go on a rampage, injuring 50+ Muslims. On Oct. 2 Calif. gov. Gerry Brown signs a law banning therapy aimed at making gay teenagers straight, effective Jan. 1. On Oct. 8-13 the Battle of Maarrat al-Nu'man in Syria is a V for the rebel Free Syrian Army over the Syrian army, with 60 civilians killed and major property damage. On Oct. 9 15-y.-o. Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai (1997-) is shot in the head and neck by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus; on Oct. 12 a group of 50 Islamic clerics issue a fatwa against her attempted assassins, while the Taliban reiterates its intent to kill her and her father, causing an internat. outcry, causing her to become a celeb. On Oct. 10 King Abdullah appoints Abdullah Nsur as PM of Jordan (until ?). On Oct. 10 Callie Khouri's Nashville debuts on ABC-TV for ? episodes (until ?), starring Connie Britton as fading country music superstar Rayna James, and Hayden Panettiere as rising star Juliette Barnes. On Oct. 10, 2012 the series Arrow debuts on The CW for ? episodes (until ?), based on the DC Comics Green Arrow of Mort Weisinger and George Papp, starring Stephen Adam Amell (1981-) as billionaire playboy Oliver Queen slash Green Arrow. On Oct. 14 the Moroccan navy escorts an abortion vessel filled with activists trying to help women receive abortions out of the port of Smir. On Oct. 14 Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner becomes the first person to break the sound barrier without machine assistance during a space dive from the Red Bull Stratos helium balloon at alt. 24 mi. over Roswell, N.M. On Oct. 16 seven paintings worth $25M are stolen from the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, Netherlands. On Oct. 17 Muslim Bangladeshi immigrant Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis (1991-) is arrested in connection with a plot to blow up the Federal Reserve in Manhattan, N.Y. as part of a jihad. On Oct. 22-31 Category 3 Hurricane Sandy devastates portions of the Caribbean and E U.S. and Canada, killing 209+. On Oct. 24-28, 2012 the 2012 World Series sees the San Francisco Giants (NL) defeat the Detroit Tigers (AL) 4-0 in the first NL sweep of the AL since 1990; Giants infielder Pablo Eisler "Kung Fu Panda" Sandoval (1986-), who hit three homers in Game 1 is MVP. On Oct. 25 Leo Krim (b. 2010) and Lucia "Lulu" Krim (b. 2006) are stabbed to death with a kitchen knife by their Domnican Repub.-born nanny Yoselyn "Josie" Ortega in Upper West Side, Manhattan, N.Y., who tries to slit her own throat after mother Marina Krim and her 3-y.-o. daughter Nessie Krim arrive from a swimming lesson a few blocks away; on Apr. 18, 2018 she is found guilty of 1st and 2nd degree murder; subject of the 2016 novel "Chanson Douce" (The Perfect Nanny) by Leila Slimani. In Oct. Pres. Obama issues Pres. Policy Directive 20, ordering Offensive Cyber Effects Operations (OCEO) to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for U.S. cyberattacks. On Nov. 6 (Tues.) the 2012 U.S. Pres. Election is a V for Pres. Barack Obama over wealthy Mormon Repub. challenger Willard Mitt Romney (1947-) (not officially backed by the LDS Church), with 332 vs. 206 electoral votes, and 26 vs. 24 states, plus Washington, D.C.; Obama wins 65.9M votes (51%) vs. 60.9M (47.2%) for Romney; $6B is spent by both sides on the election; Latinos comprise 10% of the electorate for the first time; Pat Buchanan utters the soundbyte: "White America died last night. Obama's reelection killed it. Our 200 plus year history as a Western nation is over. We're a Socialist Latin American country now. Venezuela without the oil"; Colo. and Wash. become the first U.S. states to legalize recreational marijuana use. On Nov. 6 Measure B passes, requiring condoms to be used on all porno sets in Los Angeles County, causing the adult film industry to start fleeing. On Nov. 8 CIA chief Gen. David H. Petraeus resigns over an extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell. On Nov. 12 an Islamist mob in Zanzibar crying "We want the heads of all the church pastors" destroys 25 Christian churches and convents. On Nov. 13 there is a total solar eclipse visible in N Australia and the South Pacific. On Nov. 14 after 100+ rockets are launched at it over a 24-hour period, an IED explodes near Israeli soldiers, and Gaza militants attack an Israeli military jeep inside Israeli borders, Israel launches Operation Pillar of Defense against Hamas in the Gaza Strip (ends Nov. 21); on Nov. 15 Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari is killed by an Israeli missile strike; it ends on Nov. 21 after 140 Palestinians and five Israelis are killed; on Nov. 14 11-mo.-o. Omar Mishrawi, son of BBC reporter Jihad Mishrawi, plus a man and woman are killed and three injured in Al-Zaitoun, Gaza, which Hamas blames on Israeli air strikes; in Mar. 2013 the U.N. Human Rights Council exonerates Israel, saying that it was really a Hamas rocket that fell short. On Nov. 20 15-nation Asian summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia announces a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership excluding the U.S. On Nov. 22 Am. freelance photojournalist James Wright Foley (1974-2014) is kidnapped by Islamists in Binesh, Syria; he is beheaded in Aug. 2014 to retaliate for U.S. air strikes in Iraq, becoming the first U.S. citizen killed by ISIS (ISIL). On Nov. 25-Dec. 9 Category 5 Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) hits Palau, followed on Dec. 3 by Mindanao with 160 mph winds, killing 1,067+, with 838 missing. On Nov. 28 the U.N. Gen. Assembly declares Mar. 21 as the Internat. Day of Forests. On Nov. 29 (Internat. Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People) in response to Operation Piller of Defense, U.N. Gen. Assembly Resolution 67/19 is adopted by 138-9-41 (Israel and the U.S. vote against), upgrading Palestine to non-member observer state status, elevating it to a status equal to the Holy See, and implicitly recognizing its sovereignty, giving it status to begin proceedings against Israel in the Internat. Criminal Court; former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert supports the measure. On Dec. 1 Enrique Pena (Peña) Nieto (1966-) becomes pres. #57 of Mexico (until ?), marking the return of the Inst. Rev. Party (PRI). On Dec. 1 Russia assumes the presidency of the Group of 20 (G20) for the first time (until ?). On Dec. 3 homeless Muslim man Naeem Davis (1982-) shoves 59-y.-o. Korean Queens resident Ki-Suck Han in front of an oncoming Q subway train in the W 49th St. station in Times Square in New York City, and is photographed by another Muslim, the photo going viral; he later claims he did it because somebody threw away his treasured Timberlands boots. On Dec. 10 the Central African Repub. Civil War of 2012-14 begins (ends Juy 24, 2014), ending in a stalemate supervized by a U.N. peacekeeping force. On Dec. 8 the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Qatar agrees to extend the Kyoto Protocol until 2020. On Dec. 12 Christ returns according to Internet prophet Steve Fletcher. On Dec. 14 the U.S Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act is passed, extending nondiscriminatory treatment to products of Moldova and the Russian Federation. On Dec. 14 after shooting and killing his mother Nancy, 20-y.-o. lone gunman Adam Lanza (b. 1992) attacks Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 children and six women at his mother's kindergarten classroom, along with himself; the Anders Breivik attack in Norway was his inspiration?; it was a govt. false flag? On Dec. 15 the Arizona Bill of Rights Monument is dedicated, the first in the U.S. dedicated to the Bill of Rights. On Dec. 16 four young men gang-rape a 23-y.-o. univ. student on a bus in New Delhi, India, causing internal injuries that kill her, sparking outrage; on Sept. 13, 2013 they are sentenced to death by hanging. On Dec. 17 the U.S. State Dept. announces that their boss Hillary Clinton sustained a concussion after a fall at home (Dec. 15?), causing Karl Rove in May 2014 to claim that she's suffering from brain damage and shouldn't run for pres. On Dec. 21 (12/21/12) (should have been 12/12/12?) the 2012 Phenomenon occurs based on the end date of a 5,125-year cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar marking a Great Cycle of 13 baktuns of 144K days completed since Creation, with some New Agers incl. John Major Jenkins (1964-) claiming that it marks the true start of the Age of Aquarius; they are off by 50-100 years? On Dec. 25 female Afghan Sgt. Nargis kills U.S. police adviser Joseph Griffin in an insider killing. On Dec. 30 a hit man wearing a Muslim niqab throws acid in the face of 20-y.-o. Victoria's Secret shop asst. Naomi Oni in Dagenham, East London, causing an outcry to ban all niqabs. On Dec. 31 the Kyoto Protocol expires. On Dec. 31 Newsweek mag. discontinues its print ed., going online only. In Dec. China pulls even with the U.S. on oil imports at 6M barrels a day. In Dec. Hillary Clinton falls and suffers a brain trauma, resulting in a blood clot in her skull, causing her to have to wear special glasses, later using this as an excuse for not remembering how to preserve classified materials, causing speculation that she has severe brain damage or narcissistic personality disorder; meanwhile Hillary Clinton is named the most admired woman by Americans for the 11th straight time and the 17th time overall by Gallup's most admired man and woman poll. The U.S. replaces its 1970s vintage W-76 nuclear bombs with new Reliable Replacement Warheads that can be produced easily without testing; the U.S. is down to 5K nukes from 10K nukes in 2000, Russia down to 5.7K nukes from 15K; France has 350, Britain 200, and China 100 (20 can reach the U.S.). The city of Stockton, Calif. declares bankruptcy, becoming the most populous U.S. municipality to file for Chapter 9; in 2018 it begins an experiment with Universal Basic Income (UBI), giving 300K randomly-selected residents an income of $500/mo. The Ten Commandments Monument is erected in front of the Okla. State Capitol in Oklahoma City after a bill sponsored by state rep. Mike Ritze is passed, causing the ACLU to sue, resulting in the 7-2 Okla. Supreme Court decision Prescott v. Capitol Preservation Commission on July 27, 2015 that it is unconstitutional, causing it to be moved to private property in Oct. 2015, leading to calls for changing the Okla. Constitution; in 2014 a vandal destroys it, causing the New York-based Satanic Temple to cancel plans for their own Baphomet statue to be placed beside it on capitol grounds. Mexico City retires the last of its Volkwagen Beetle taxis known as "vochos". A massive solar storm hits Earth with the force of 100M hydrogen bombs? One-third to one-half of the world's pop., incl. more than half of the non-white pop. will be killed by infectious agents, biological weapons, and man-made diseases, according to Dr. Len Horowitz. Remote-viewing Tibetan monks see the world plunging into total nuclear war this year. The picturesque SW French village of Bugarach is the only one to survive the Dec. 21 Armageddon? Grumpy Cat (real name Tardar Sauce), owned by Red Lobster waitress Tabatha Bundesen of Morristown, Ariz. becomes a hit, allowing her to incorporate and quit her job. GlaxoSmithKline pleads guilty to federal charges to resolve a slew of criminal and civil issues stemming from its use of kickbacks, misbranding and other misconduct to market drugs such as Paxil, Wellbutrin and Advair, paying a $3B fine, largest by a drug co. (until ?). A worldwide "greatest recession" will mark the "decline of empire America" as the U.S. will experience food riots, ghost malls, mob rule and terror, according to Gerald Celente of TrendsResearch.com. Virgin Galactic launches its first commercial satellite via its space tourism vehicle WhiteKnightTwo. The Zumba Latin dance-fitness craze sweeps the U.S., spawning a contest for the best moves to Shakira's "Dare (La La La La). Mondelez Internat. ("world" + "delicious") is spun-off by Kraft Foods to market crackers (Triscuit), cookies (Oreo, Chips Ahoy!), chocolate (Cadbury), and gum and candy (Chiclets, Dentyne, Trident, Cadbury, Toblerone), with HQ in Deerfield, Ill. Sports: On Jan. 8 (Sun.) the NFL wild card John 3:16 Game sees the Denver Broncos defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23 after Bible-thumping QB (#15) Timothy Richard "Tim" Tebow (1987-) throws a bomb to WR (#88) Demaryius Antwon Thomas (1987-) that goes for an 80-yard TD on the first play of OT (shortest in NFL history, 11 sec.); Tebow throws for 316 yards in the game, and averages a playoff record 31.6 yards per throw, with a 31.6% audience share during the final 15 min., causing Christians to pull out his favorite Bible verse, John 3:16; too bad, the Broncos trade Tebow in the offseason for Peyton Manning. On Jan. 13-22 the First Winter Youth Olympics is held in Innsbruck, Austria. On Feb. 5 Super Bowl XLVI (46) is played in the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.; the New York Giants defeat the New England Patriots 21-17; Eli Manning is MVP. On Feb. 27 after being delayed one day because of rain, the 2012 (54th) Daytona 500 becomes the first aired during prime time; the winner is Matthew Roy "Matt" Kenseth (1972-), with Dale Earnhardt Jr. coming in 2nd. On Mar. 2 the NFL announces the New Orleans Saints Bounty Scandal (Bountygate), where defensive players were paid bonuses for inflicting injuries on opposing players since 2009; on Mar. 21 head coach Sean Payton is suspended for 1 year, and defensive coordinator Greg Williams is banned from the NFL indefinitely. On Mar. 25 Tiger Woods wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla., becoming his first PGA Tour victory since 2009. On Mar. 27 a consortium led by NBA star Magic Johnson buys the Los Angeles Dodgers MLB team for a record $2.15B. On Apr. 8 6'5" Gerry Lester "Bubba" Watson Jr. (1978-) of the U.S. defeats Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa on the 2nd sudden death playoff hole to win the 2012 Masters Tournament. On Apr. 17 Jamie Moyer (1962-) of the Colorado Rockies becomes the oldest pitcher in MLB history to win a game (until ?); on May 16 he becomes the oldest player to record an RBI (until ?); he retires after his last appearance on May 27. On Apr. 21 Philip Gregory Humber (1982-) of the Chicago White Sox pitches a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners, becoming #21 in ML history and #3 for the team. On May 5 the 138th Kentucky Derby is won by I'll Have Another in 2:01.83. On May 27 the 2012 (96th) Indianapolis 500 becomes the first with all entries having new model-year chassis and turbocharged engines, and is won by George Dario Marino Franchitti (1973-) (3rd win) after Takuma Sato challenges him for the lead in turn one, loses control, and crashes into the outside wall. On June 9 Maria Sharapova defeats Sara Errani in the 2012 French Open women's singles final, returning to #1 world ranking after a 4-year major title drought caused by a shoulder injury in 2008; on June 11 Rafael Nadal of Spain wins the men's singles title for the 3rd time in a row (7 times in 8 years). On May 30-June 11 the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals see the Los Angeles Kings defeat the New Jersey Devils 4-2 to win their first title, becoming the 2nd time since 1996 in which no Canadian teams advance past the first round; MVP is 6'1 Kings goalie Jonathan Douglas Quick (1986-). On June 12-21 the 2012 NBA Finals sees the Miami Heat defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder by 4-1; LeBron James of Miami is MVP. On June 24 the 2012 NFL Referee Lockout begins; it ends on Sept. 26. On Aug. 29 the 2012 Summer Paralympics. On Sept. 24 the Fail Mary Game sees the Seattle Seahawks defeat the Green Packers 14-12 after a last-sec. Hail Mary ends up in both teams' hands simultaneously despite a flag thrown that should have given the Packers the win, causing a firestorm of controversy about the inferior replacement officials. On Oct. 14 Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner falls to Earth from 24 mi. alt., becoming the first human to break the sound barrier sans vehicle. Architecture: On Mar. 5 $634M Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. opens as the home of the ML Miami Marlins. On May 16 the bizarre 44-story Central China TV HQ (begun June 1, 2004) in Beijing opens; in Feb. 2016 the China State Council announces that it will no longer approve "bizarre architecture". On May 22 634m Tokyo Skytree opens, becoming the tallest self-supporter tower on Earth (until ?). On Sept. 21 $1B Barclays Center multipurpose indoor arena in Brooklyn, N.Y. opens as the home of the NBA Brooklyn Nets and NHL New York Islanders. On Nov. 22 (Thanksgiving) a game between the New England Patriots and New York Jets at MetLife Stadium sees the Butt Fumble, in which Jets QB Mark Sanchez collides with the backside of teammate Brandon Moore and fumbles the ball, which is recovered and returned for a TD by Steve Gregory of the Patriots; the Patriots go on to win 49-19. The 2K ft. (609.6m) 150-floor Chicago Spire is finished, becoming the tallest bldg. in North Am. (until ?). The $4.4M Galactic Suite Space Resort opens, becoming the first hotel in space, where guests can watch the Sun rise 15x a day as they orbit the Earth every 80 min. The 260K sq. ft. $100M Louvre Abu Dhabi art museum on Saadiyat Island opens with a 30-year agreement with the French govt., concentrating on the gap between Eastern and Western art. The 105-floor 1.1K ft. (330m) Ryungyong ("capital of willows") Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea is completed. 108 ft. Elwha Dam and 210 ft. Glines Canyon Dam are removed from the Elhwa River in Wash. state, becoming the largest dam removal project in history (until ?). Nobel Prizes: Peace: European Union (EU); Lit: Mo Yan (Guan Moye) (1955-) (China); Physics: Serge Haroche (1944-) (France) and David Jeffrey Wineland (1944-) (U.S.) [experimental methods for quantum systems]; Chemistry: Robert Joseph Lefkowitz (1943-) (U.S.) and Brian Kent Kobilka (1955-) (U.S.) [G-protein-coupled receptors]; Medicine: Sir John Bertrand Gurdon (1933-) (U.K.) and Shinya Yamanaka (1962-) (Japan) [pluripotent cells]; Economics: Alvin Elliot Roth (1951-) (U.S.) and Lloyd Stowell Shapley (1923-2016) (U.S.) [theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design]. Inventions: On Apr. 1 Tokyo U. unveils a Smelling Screen that uses gel pellets to eject smells from different parts of the screen. On May 8 Nev. approves the first self-driven vehicle license in the U.S. for Google. On May 25 (12:02 p.m. EDT) the unmanned SpaceX Dragon becomes the first commercial spacecraft to dock with the Internat. Space Station (ISS). On Apr. 24 Google announces its new Penguin algorithm, designed to penalize Web sites that use black-hat SEO to inflate their page rankings. In June IBM builds the Sequoia 20 petaflop supercomputer; meanwhile IBM and the Bavarian Academy of Science build the SuperMUC 3 petaflop supercomputer; Intel and SGI build the Pleiades 10 petaflop supercomputer. Science: The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile becomes operational. Pluto's moons Kerberos and Styx are discovered by using the Hubble Space Telescope. On Feb. 21 scientists regenerate 31.8K-y.-o. specimens of the Arctic flower Silene stenophylla, a record. On Mar. 1 Barbel Honisch et al. of Columbia U. pub. an article in Science announcing that the Earth's oceans may be turning acidic from human carbon emissions faster than during the last four major extinctions over 300M years. On Mar. 2 Lee Hooper et al. of Norwick Medical School pub. an article in Am. Journal of Clinical Nutrition reporting that 42 studies indicate that people who eat chocolate have lower rates of heart risks incl. high blood pressure. On Mar. 12 Harvard Medical School pub. a Report on Red Meat, saying that a study of 120K suggests that eating it increases the death risk from cancer and heart problems. On Mar. 16 Euro scientists announce that neutrinos don't travel faster than light as formerly believed from a Sept. experiment. On Apr. 24 scientists at the Swiss Federal Inst. of Tech. demonstrate the first Thought-Controlled Robot. On Apr. 10 Michel Poulin and Anneke Buffone of the U. of Buffalo, and E. Alison Holman of UCI pub. an article in Psychological Science, announcing the possible discovery of a "niceness gene". On May 7 Dave Wilkinson et al. at Liverpool John Moores U. pub. an article in Current Biology claiming that dinosaur farts may have caused global warming. On May 11 physicists at the U. of Science and Technology of China in Shanghai announce that they've broken a 2-y.-o. record of 10 mi. by quantum teleporting photons 97 km. On May 12 an article in Science claims that 70% of the world's languages are found in biodiversity hotspots, and that the languages and cultures disappear with the loss of diversity. On May 14 scientists at Stanford U. announce a working bionic eye (light-powered retinal implant). On May 15 the U.S. announces a nat. plan to find an effective treatment for Old Timer's Alzheimer's by 2025. On May 15 Seung-Wuk Lee et al. of UCB announce a device that uses genetically-engineered viruses to generate piezoelectricity. On May 30 chemical elements #114 Flerovium (Fl) (#114) (discovered in 1998 by the Flerov Lab of Nuclear Reactions in Dubna, Russia) and Livermorium (Lv) (#116) (discovered in 2000 by the Lawrence Livermore Lab in the U.S. and the Joint Inst. for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia) are officially named by the Internat. Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). In June Wei Pan et al. pub. an article in Nature Communications that claims that city living generates super-linear productivity because of increased social ties. On Dec. 18 a team of doctors at John Hopkins U. perform the first successful double arm transplant on veteran Sgt. Brendan Marrocco (1986-). On Dec. 27 scientists in Leeds, England perform the first human hand transplant. The first successful mother-to-daughter womb transplant is performed at Sahlgrenska U. Hospital at Gothenburg U. in Sweden by Mats Brannstrom et al. Am. paleontologist Mary Higby Schweitzer (1955-) of N.C. State U. discovers soft tissue in a T-rex bone, shocking the scientific world and pleasing Creationists with the theory that dinos lived no more than a few tens of thousands of years ago; she goes on to prove that the dino was a pregnant female, and find molecular similarities between the T-Rex and chicken. Nonfiction: Eben Alexander III (1953-), Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife (Oct. 23); his 2008 coma causes a near-death experience which he claims proves the existence of an afterlife complete with angels, clouds, departed relatives, butterflies, and beautiful babes in peasant dress. Claude Allegre (1937-), No Need to Panic About Global Warming (June 27) (Wall Street Journal); causes Am. economist William Dawbney "Bill" Nordhaus (1941-) to come out swinging in a series of articles in New York Review of Books, incl. Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong (Mar. 22, 2012), In the Climate Casino: An Exchange (Apr. 26, 2012), and The Climate Contrarians (Aug. 16, 2012). History's easy, anybody can do it? David Barton (1954-), The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson (Apr. 10); claims that Jefferson wasn't a Deist but an evangelical Christian who believed that church-state separation was unidirectional; in Aug. numerous negative reviews cause the publisher Thomas Nelson to withdraw it, after which it is picked up by Glenn Beck; voted Least Credible History Book in Print by users of History News Network, beating Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States". Ian Bremmer (1969-), Every Nation for itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World (May). David Jay Brown, Psychedelic Drug Research: A Comprehensive Review (Oct. 25). Peter Brown (1935-), Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 A.D.; minor bestseller (13K copies); the changing attitudes towards wealth among early Christians that transformed the Church into a super-rich welfare state for the clergy after abandoning the idea that wealth is inherently sinful as stated by Jesus in his parable about the camel and the you know what. Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution. Richard Carrier (1969-), Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus (Apr. 24). Ethan Casey, Bearing the Bruise: A Life Graced by Haiti. Prasanna Chandrasekhar, Navlipi (2 vols.); (Sansk. "new script"); the world's first practical phonemic script; patented on Aug. 20, 2013. David Hatcher Childress and Brien Foerster, The Enigma of Cranial Deformation: Elongated Skulls of the Ancients (Feb. 1); explores why ancient Peruvians et al. used head-binding to create elongated skulls, suggesting that they tried to imitate ET ancestors. Sir Christopher Clark (1960-), The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 German trans. pub. in 2013; challenges the "war guilt" of the Germans for WWI, relieving the German govt. of responsibility by claiming that they were engaging in risks that had been taken before without catastrophic consequences which just chanced to come out bad, becoming a hit in Germany despite Volker Ullrich's criticism that it ignores the pressure from Germany's powerful military establishment, and Hans-Ulrich Wehler's criticism that the book "eliminates [Germany's war guilt] with bewildering one-sidedness"; in 2015 he receives a British knighthood for his services to Anglo-German relations. James Hal Cone (1938-), The Cross and the Lynching Tree (Sept. 1); Jesus' crucifixion was a black lynching?; disses U.S. Christians for not doing enough to stop black lynchings. William Dalrymple (1965-), Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan; the 1839-42 British occupation of Afghanistan. E.J. Dionne (1952-), Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent. Moorpheus El, The Secret of Secrets (Lifting of The Veil) (Dec. 21); claims that the Universe is a vast quantum computer; "Imagine for a moment that you are physically connected to planets in the universe; saturn, mars, jupiter, venus, and earth; then, that they are in fact hardware, simply waiting for your command... This is the How! How to program reality the same way you would a computer; the hidden technology to change your fate; the One Secret behind all the Law of Attraction books, that is never revealed." M. Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein, Stalin's Secret Agents (Nov.). John Feffer, Crusade 2.0: The West's Resurgent War on Islam (Mar. 20); his concern about Islamophobia. Robin Gaby Fisher, The Woman Who Wasn't There: The True Story of an Incredible Deception; Spanish woman Tania Head, who fakes being a 9/11 survivor. Cammy Franzese, This Thing of Ours: How Faith Saved My Mafia Marriage (Jan. 3); her hubby Michael turns out to be a Mafia don. Ben Goldacre (1974-), Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients (Sept. 25); "The whole edifice of medicine is broken." Amit Goswami, God Is Not Dead: What Quantum Physics Tells Us About Our Origins and How We Should Live. Stanislav Grof (1931-), Healing Our Deepest Wounds: The Holotropic Paradigm Shift. Tenzing Gyatso (1931-), Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World (Nov. 6). Sam Harris (1967-), Free Will. Michael Hastings, The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan (Jan. 5). Peter Hitchens (1951-), The War We Never Fought (Sept.); calls the war on drugs nonexistent. Tom Holland (1968-), In the Shadow of the Word: The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World; claims that Islam arose not in 7th cent. Arabia but cents. later on the Syrian-Palestinian border. David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin, The New Leviathan: How the Left-Wing Money Machine Shapes American Politics and Threatens America's Future; "self-sufficient and self-perpetuating... an aristocracy of wealth whose dimensions exceed any previous accumulations of financial power, whose influence already represents a massive disenfranchisement of the American people and whose agendas pose a disturbing prospect for the American future." Hugh Iwanicki and Dave Bailey, Shock & Alarm: What It Was Really Like at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq; "The challenge Islam presents is not going to go away, and our igorance can only cause us to lose a monumental battle of ideas." Sadakat Kadri, Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Sharia Law. Robert Kagan (1958-), The World America Made (Feb. 14). Robin D.G. Kelley (1962-), Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (May 13). Ashraf Khalil, Liberation Square: Inside the Egyptian Revolution and the Rebirth of a Nation (Jan. 3). Edward Klein (1937-), The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House. Ray Kurzweil (1948-), How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed (Nov. 13). Jeremy Kuzmarov, Modernizing Repression: Police Training and Nation Building in the American Century. Jonah Lehrer (1981-), Imagine: How Creativity Works. Bernard Lewis (1916-), Notes on a Century: Reflections of a Middle East Historian (autobio.). Michael Lind (1962-), Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States (Apr. 1); "What is good about the American economy is largely the result of the Hamiltonian... tradition, and what is bad about it is largely the result of the Jeffersonian... school"; "The neo-Jeffersonians trim back accomplishments of the previous Hamiltonian generation - national banking, emancipation, New Deal social programs - but usually fail to repeal them. As a result, the U.S. progresses at a pace of two steps forward, one step back." Fredrik Logevall (1963-), Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam (Pulitzer Prize); shows how the U.S. blundered into Vietnam and misjudged the reaction of the South Vietnamese people to the U.S. as yet another colonialist power. Jenna M. Loyd, Matt Michelson, and Andrew Burridge (eds.), Beyond Walls and Cages: Prisons, Borders, and Global Crisis. Jonathan Lyons, Islam Through Western Eyes: From the Crusades to the War on Terrorism; tries to rescue the bad image of Islam in the West with historical arguments; too bad, he ignores the first horrible 3 cents. from the death of Muhammad. Benoit B. Mandelbrot (1924-2010), The Fractalist (autobio.) (posth.). David Maraniss, Barack Obama: The Story; Washington Post assoc. ed. exposes Obama's memoir "Dreams of My Father" as full of false anecdotes, causing Obam to tell him, "David, you called my book fiction", to which he answes "No, Mr. President, I actually complimented you. I called it literature." Garry Marshall (1934-), My Happy Days in Hollywood: A Memoir (autobio.); dir. of "The Odd Couple", "Happy Days", "Laverne & Shirley", "Mork & Mindy", "The Flamingo Kid", "Beaches", "Pretty Woman", "The Princess Diaries". Jonathan Matusitz, Terrorism & Communication: A Critical Introduction. Jon Ellis Meacham (1969-), Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power. Dambisa Moyo (1969-), Winner Take All: China's Race for Resources and What It Means for the World (June 5); NYT bestseller. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing (June 12); reindeer seek escape in hallucenogenic mushrooms? Harry Ostrer, Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People; concludes that all Jews incl. Ashkenazi Jews are one people. Elaine Pagels (1943-), Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation; trivializes it to anti-Roman propaganda, no need to worry about any nasty Armageddon or Last Judgment. Joseph Chilton Pearce (1926-), The Heart-Mind Matrix: How the Heart Can Teach the Mind New Ways to Think. Nobert G. Pressburg, What the Modern Martyr Should Know: Seventy-Two Grapes and Not a Single Virgin: The New Picture of Islam (June 23); exposes the non-historicity of Muhammad. Raghuram Rajan (1963-), The True Lessons of the Recession: The West Can't Borrow and Spend Its Way to Recovery (May); gets into a debate with Paul Krugman, advocating supply-side solutions to the Great Recession, while Krugman sticks with the Keynesian stimulus solution. Johnny Ramone (1948-2004), Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone (posth.) (Apr. 2). Tom Reiss (1964), The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo (Sept. 18) (Pulitzer Prize). Paul Craig Roberts (1939-), The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West. Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power Seth Rosenfeld, Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power (Aug. 21); secret FBI involvement at UCB with Calif. gov. Ronald Reagan, radical Mario Savio, and UCB pres. Clark Kerr. Alice Schwarzer (1942-), Autobio. Deborah Scroggins, Wanted Women: Faith, Lies and the War on Terror: The Lives of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Aafia Siddiqui. Rupert Sheldrake (1942-), The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry. Joseph Stiglitz (1943-), The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future (June 11); NYT bestseller about the top 1%; "Their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live... It does not have to be this way." Cheryl Strayed (1968-), Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail (autobio.) (Mar. 20); NYT #1 bestseller; Tiny Beautiful Things: Advance on Love and Life from Dear Sugar (essays) (July 10); NYT bestseller. Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III (1951-), Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage from America's Leaders (May). Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), The World Happiness Report 2012; first in an annual series. Nassim Nicholas Taleb (1960-), Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder; incl. fasting, mythology, urban planning, plus biological, cultural, economic, and technological systems. Roger Trigg, Equality, Freedom and Religion; "There has been a clear trend for courts in Europe and North America to prioritise equality and non-discrimination above religion, placing the right to religious freedom in danger." Brian Weiss (1944-), Miracles Happen: The Transformational Healing Power of Past-Life Memories (Oct. 2). Henry Wiencek, Master of the Mountain; depicts Thomas Jefferson as a greedy racist slave-owner. Robert Wistrich, From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews, and Israel. Donald N. Yates, Old World Roots of the Cherokee: How DNA, Ancient Alphabets and Religion Explain the Origins of America's Largest Indian Nation (July 11); the Cherokees came from W Europe? Larry Young and Brian Alexander, The Chemistry Between Us; claims that men are attracted to womens' breasts because of their infantile breast-feeding circuitry. The $3M Breakthrough Prizes in life sciences, fundamental physics, and mathematics are founded by Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Yuri Milner et al. Art: Christo and Jeanne-Claude erect the Over the River Project, panels of shimmering silver-colored panels covering the Arkansas River in Colo.; meanwhile they plan the Mastaba Project, a 500-ft.-tall flat-top pyramid of 400K stacked oil barrels in Abu Dhabi. Music: Shawn Colvin (1956-), All Fall Down (album #8) (June 5). Deftones, Koi No Yokan (album #7) (Nov. 12) (#11 in the U.S.) (180K copies); incl. Swerve City, Leathers, Tempest. Imagine Dragons, Night Visions (album) (debut) (Sept. 4) (#2 in the U.S.) (1.9M copies); from Las Vegas, Nev., incl. Dan Reynolds (vocals), Wayne "Wing" Sermon (guitar), Ben McKee (bass), and Daniel Platzman (drums); incl. It's Time, Hear Me, On Top of the World, Radioactive, Demons, Amsterdam. Aaron Lewis (1972-), The Road (Nov. 13) (album) (#7 country) (#30 in the U.S.); incl. Endless Summer (#39 country), Forever (#50 country), Granddaddy's Gun. Macklemore (1983-), Ryan Lewis (1988-), and Mary Lambert (1989-), Same Love (#11 in the U.S., #6 in the U.K.). Bruno Mars (1985-), Album #2 Unorthodox Jukebox (album #2) (Dec. 7, 2012) (#2 in the U.S.) (#1 in the U.K.); incl. Locked Out of Heaven (#1 in the U.S.). Kip Moore (1980-), Up All Night (album) (debut) (Apr. 24) (#3 country) (#6 in the U.S.); incl. Beer Money (#7 country, #51 in the U.S.), Hey Pretty Girl (#8 country) (#41 in the U.S.). Frank Ocean (1987-), Channel Orange (album) (debut) (July 10); incl. Thinking Bout You (#32 in the U.S., #(4 in the U.K.), Pyramids (#31 R&B in the U.K.), Sweet Life. Indian Ocean, 16/330 Khajoor Road (album #5) (Aug. 30); named after the 100-y.-o. bungalow where they rehearse; in 2013 Susmit Sen leaves the band, and is replaced by Nikhil Rao. Rita Ora (1990-), Ora (album) (debut) (Aug. 27) (#1 in the U.K.); incl. Hot Right Now, How We Do (Party), and R.I.P. (w/Tinie Tempah). Psy (Jae-sang Park) (1977-), Gangnam Style; on Dec. 21 (15:50 UTC) it becomes the first music video to reach 1B views on YouTube; on Oct. 23, 2012 he met U.N. secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon at U.N. HQ. Sydney Wayser (1986-), Bell Choir Coast (album #3) (Mar. 27). Movies: Joe Wright's Anna Karenina (Sept. 17), based on the 1877 Leo Tolstoy novel stars Keira Knightley as Anna, Jude Law as Alexei, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Vronsky. Michael Haneke's Amour (May 20) stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva as retired music teachers Georges and Anne, who has a stroke. Ben Affleck's Argo (Oct. 12), based on the 1981 TV movie "Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper" about CIA operative Tony Mendez leading the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran in 1979 stars Affleck as Mendez, and Alan Arkin as Lester Siegel. Craig Moss' Bad Ass (Apr. 13), based on the AC Transit Bus Fight Internet Video stars Danny Trejo as 67-y.-o. decorated Vietnam War vet Frank Vega, who becomes famous after he beats up two skinheads on a bus; Charles S. Dutton plays drug lord Panther, and Ron Perlman plays Mayor Williams. Peter Berg's Battleship (Apr. 3) (Universal), based on the Hasbro board game stars Liam Neeson as Adm. Terrance Shane, and Peter MacNicol as the U.S. secy. of defense, who deal with invading aliens from Planet G, who are attracted by a signal sent from Hawaii by NASA; does $303M box office on a $209M budget. Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild (Jan. 20) (Fox Searchlight Pictures), based on the 1-act play "Juicy and Delicious" by Lucy Alibar about the Bathtub in La. stars 9-y.-o. Quevenzhane Wallis (b. 2003) as 5-y.-o. Hushpuppy, who becomes the youngest Academy Award best actress nominee (until ?); Dwight Henry plays Wink; does $21.9M box office on a $1.8M budget. George Sluizer's Dark Blood (Sept. 27) stars River Phoenix as Boy, Judy Davis as Buffy, and Jonathan Pryce as Harry; it was canned after Phoenix's 1993 death until now. Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises (July 16) features Tom Hardy as Bane, and Anne Hawthorne as Catwoman Selma Kyle; does $1B on a $230M budget. Henry Alex Rubin's Disconnect (Sept. 11), about life in the cyberorld stars Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, and Frank Grillo, and is the acting debut of fashionista Marc Jacobs. Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (Dec. 11) (A Band Apart) (The Weinstein Co.) (Columbia Pictures), a stylized tribute to Spaghetti Westerns esp. the 1966 film "Django" by Sergio Corbucci, set in the antebellum Deep South and Old West stars Christoph Waltz as a bounter hunter chasing freed slave Jamie Foxx, who's trying to rescue his wife Kerry Washington from cruel plantation owner Leonardo DiCaprio, turning the Western inside-out and upside-down; "Django" star Franco Nero has a cameo; does $425.4M box office on a $100M budget. Stephen Daldry's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Jan. 20), based on the Jonathan Safran Foer novel stars Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock as Thomas and Linda Schell, and Thomas Horn as their 11-y.-o. son Oskar in a flick about 9/11; Zoe Caldwell plays Oskar's grandmother, and Max von Sydow plays the mysterious Renter. Robert Zemeckis' Flight (Oct. 14) stars Denzel Washington as airline Capt. William "Whip" Whitaker Sr., who crashes SouthJet Flight 227 to Atlanta while high on cocaine, heroically saving the crew, and is treated as a hero until the drug test comes back; Bruce Greenwood plays union rep Charlie Anderson; John Goodman plays drug dealer Harling Mays; Kelly Reilly plays Denzel's babe Nicole Maggen; does $161.8M box office on a $31M budget. Juan Antonio Bayon's The Impossible, (Sept. 9) based on a the true story of Maria Belon and her family in the Dec. 26, 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor as Marria and Henry Bennett. Steven Soderbergh's Haywire (Jan. 20) stars martial arts star Gina Carano as freelance spy Mallory Kane, who kicks the ass of hunk Aaron (Channing Tatum); Ewan McGregor plays Kenneth, Michael Fassebender plays Paul, and Bill Paxton plays John Kane. Sacha Gervasi's Hitchcock (Nov. 23), based on "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho" by Stephen Rebello stars Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock, Helen Mirren as his wife Alma Reville, and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh. Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Nov. 28) (New Line Cinema) (MGM) (WingNut Films) (Warner Bros.), based on the 1937 J.R.R. Tolkien novel stars Ian Holm and Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, Andy Serkis as Gollum, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug the Dragon; does $1,021M box office on a $315M budget; followed by "The Desolation of Smaug" (2013) and "The Battle of the Five Armies" (2014). Gary Ross' The Hunger Games (Mar. 12), based on the 2008 Suzanne Collins novel stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, and Donald Sutherland in the future post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, where boys and girls ages 12-18 are forced to fight to the death on TV; it brings in $692M on a $78M budget. Roger Michell's Hyde Park on Hudson (Aug. 310 (Daybreak Pictures), based on the Richard Nelson play stars Murray as FDR, and Laura Linney as his 6th cousin and lover Margaret "Daisy" Suckley; does $8.9M box office. Andrew Stanton's John Carter (Mar. 9), a Walt Disney Pictures production based on the novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs stars Taylor Kitsch as John Carter, Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkas, and Lynn Collins as Princess Dejah Thoris of Barsoom; does $282.8M box office on a $250M budget. Tom Hooper's Les Miserables (Dec. 5), based on the 1862 novel by Victor Hugo stars Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Russell Crowe as Javert, Anne Hathaway as Fantine, and Isabelle Allen as Cosette. Ang Lee's 3-D Life of Pi (Sept. 28) (20th Cent. Fox), written by David Magee based on the 2001 novel by Yann Martel about a 16-y.-o. boy trapped on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger stars Ayush Tandon, Suraj Sharma, and Irrfan Khan as Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel; does $609M box office on a $120M budget. Steven Spielberg's Lincoln (Oct. 8) (DreamWorks Pictures) (20th Cent. Fox) (Walt Disney Studios), written by Tony Kushner based on "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin (2005) about the last 4 mo. of his life as he twists arms and offers political patronage jobs to get the 13th Amendment passed stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln, Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, David Strathairn as William Seward, Bruce McGill as Edwin Stanton, Hal Holbrook as Francis Preston Blair, Peter McRobbie as Dem. slavery proponent George H. Pendleton of Ohio, and Tommy Lee Jones as Radical Repub. leader Thaddeus Stevens, who swallows his pride to argue for equality before the law instead of racial equality and endure taunts by Tammany Hall N.Y. Rep. Fernando Wood (played by Lee Pace), then gets into bed with his African housekeeper Lydia Hamilton Smith (played by S. Epatha Merkerson) at the end, uttering the soundbyte that the amendment was "passed by corruption, aided and abetted by the purest man in America"; the film is full of moose hockey, but Spielberg admits that "this resurrection is a fantasy... a dream... one of the jobs of art is to go to the impossible places that history must avoid"; it's really just the Day-Lewis show, as he channels Lincoln admirably incl. the high-pitched voice; does $275.3M box office on a $65M budget. Rian Johnson's Looper (Sept. 6) has the tag line "Hunted by your future. Haunted by your past"; after time travel is invented in 2074 and outlawed, criminal orgs. send those they want killed back into the past with silver bars strapped on, where they are killed by loopers, who get the bars, esp. 25-y.-o. Joe (Joseph Gordon-levitt) in 2044 Kansas City; too bad, when Joe retires, his older self (Bruce Willis) is sent back with gold bars strapped on to close the loop. Martin Villeneuve's Mars et Avril (Mars and April) (July 2) is based on the graphic novels of Sid Lee and La Pasteque; stars Caroline Dhavernas as Avril, Jacques Languirand and Paul Ahramani as her lovers Jacob Obus and Arthur, and Robert Lepage as Arthur's father Eugene Spaak. Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike (June 24) (Warner Bros.) stars Channing Tatum as 18-y.-o. stripper Mike Lane in Tampa, Fla., who teams with Adam the Kid (Alex Pettyfer) while hooking up with Brooke (Cody Horn); does $167M box office on a $7M budget; followed by "Magic Mike XXL" (2015). Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master (Sept. 1) stars Joaquin Phoenix as WWII vet Freddie Quell, who joins the Cause of Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Barry Sonnenfeld's Men in Black 3 (May 23) (Columbia Pictures) stars Will Smith as Agent J, Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K, Josh Brolin as the 1969 Agent K, Emma Thompson as Agent O, Alice Eve as 1969 Agent O, and Jemaine Clement as Boris the Animal in a time travel adventure centering on the Apollo 11 liftoff; does $624M box office on a $215M budget. Ava DuVernay's Middle of Nowhere (Jan. 20) (Participant Media) stars Emyatzy Corinealdi as a promising medical student whose hubby gets an 8-year prison sentence; does $237K box office on a $200K budget. Tarsem Singh's Mirror Mirror (Mar. 30) is a retelling of Snow White starring Lily Collins as Snow White, Julia Roberts as Clmentianna, Armie Hammer as Prince Andrew Alcott, Nathan Lane as servant Brighton, and Sean Bean as the king. Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom (May 16) is a romantic comedy drama set on New Penzance Island in New England, with an ensemble cast incl. Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Kara Hayward, and Jared Gilman. Pablo Larrain's No (May 18) stars Gael Garcia Bernal as Rene Saavedra, an ad man in Chile during the 1988 plebiscite on Gen. Pinochet. Atiq Rahimi's The Patience Stone (Oct. 11), based on Rahimi's 2008 novel stars Golshifteh Farahani as an Afghani woman whose jihadist hubby was shot in the neck, turning him into a vegetable, allowing him to confide her deepest secrets to him to turn him into a sang-e savour (magic stone) that shields her from unhappiness and suffering. Ridley Scott's Prometheus (May 30) (20th Cent. Fox), originally a prequel to "Alien", about a late 21st cent. spaceship that follows a star map to discover the origins of humanity stars Noomi Rapace as archeologist Elizabeth Shaw, Michael Fassbender as android David, Charlize Theron as Weyland Corp. employee Meredith Vickers, and Idris Elba as Capt. Janek; Guy Pearce plays egomaniac Weyland Corp. founder Peter Weyland; does $403M box office on a $130M budget. Spike Lee's Red Hook Summer (Aug. 10) (40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks) (Chronicles of Brooklyn #6) stars Clarke Peters as Da Good Bishop Enoch Rouse of Red Hook, Brooklyn, whose pampered grandson Flik Royle (Jules Brown) is sent to live with him, only to see his covered-up past of sexual molestation of a boy go public, causing his congregation to turn against him; does $339K bo office. Jake Schreier's Robot and Frank (Jan. 20) stars Frank Langella as an aging jewel thief whose son buys him a domestic robot, which he teaches to pull heists. Nikolaj Arcel's A Royal Affair (Feb. 16) stars Mikkel Folsgaard as crazy Danish King Christian VII, Alicia Vikander as Queen Caroline Mathilde, and Mads Mikkelsen as her physician lover Johann Friedrich Struensee. Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone (De rouille et d'os) (May 17) (Canal+), based on the short stories by Craig Davidson stars Marion Cotillard as Stephanie, a killer whale trainer who falls for unemployed 20-something wannabe-kick boxer Alain van Versch (Matthias Schoenaerts) in Antibes and loses her legs in an accident; does $25.8M box office on a $20M budget. Daniel Espinoza's Safe House (Feb. 7) (Universal Pictures) stars Denzel Washington as rogue ex-CIA agent Tobin Frost, who steals a data storage device containing info. on dirty dealings by U.S, British and other intel agencies from rogue MI6 agent Alex Wade (Liam Cunningham) and is chased by undercover CIA mercenaries led by Vargas (Fares Fares) until he surrenders himself to the U.S. consulate in Cape Town, South Africa, who put him in a safe house, where he is waterboarded by agent Daniel Kiefer (Robert Patrick), until Vargas and his men attack and kill everybody except rookie agent Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), who escapes, taking Frost with him, after which Frost escapes, and they play cat and mouse; Brendan Gleeson plays CIA superior David Barlow; Vera Farmiga plays CIA operative Catherine Linklater; Nora Arnezeder plays Weston's babe Ana Moreau; does $208M box office on a $85M budget. Ben Lewin's The Sessions (Jan. 23) stars John Hawks as paralyzed poet Mark O'Brien, who hires sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen (Helen Hunt-Greene). David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook (Sept. 8), based on the 2008 novel by Matthew Quick stars Bradley Cooper as bipolar Patrizio "Pat" Solitano Jr., and Jennifer Lawrence as recovering sex addict Tiffany Maxwell; Robert De Niro plays Pat Sr., who loses his job and becomes a bookie to make enough money to start a restaurant; does $236M box office on a $21M budget; first film to have actors nominated for Oscars in all four categories since "Reds" (1981); Jennifer Lawrence trips on her way to the stage at the Oscars. Sascha Hartmann's Sir Billi (Apr. 13), the first CGI animated flick from Scotland is about an aging skateboarding veterinarian who fights a war to save Bessie Boo, the last beaver in Scotland; the final role for Sean Connery as Sir Billi. Sam Mendes' Skyfall (Oct. 23) (Eon Productions) (MGM) (Columbia Pictures) (James Bond 007 film #23), named after his Scottish estate stars Daniel Craig as James Bond 007, and Javier Barden as Julian Assange clone blonde bad guy Raoul Silva, a former MI6 agent gone cyberterrorist out to kill M (Judi Dench); Ben Whishaw plays Q, and Naomie Harris plays a black Miss Eve Moneypenny; Albert Finney (after the idea of casting Sean Connery is discarded) plays Kincade the gamekeeper; Ralph Fiennes plays Gareth Mallory, who takes over the M job at the end of the film; the Skyfall Theme Song is performed by Adele; features the reappearance of the original Aston Martin DB5; does $1.1B box office on a $200M budget, #7 of all time, and #1 in the U.K. Rupert Sanders' Snow White and the Huntsman (May 30) charles Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna, Chris Hemsworth as Eric the Huntsman, Sam Claflin as William, and Bob Hoskins as Muir the blind elder dwarf in his last film role. Olivier Megaton's Taken 2 (Oct. 3), the sequel to the 2008 film stars Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, and Famke Janssen; does $376M box office on a $45M budget. The Farrelly Brothers' The Three Stooges (Apr. 13) (20th Cent. Fox.) stars Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Sean Hayes as Larry, and Will Sasso as Curly; Jane Lynch plays Mother Superior, and Kirby Heyborne plays their orphanage friend Theodore J. "Teddy" Harter; does $54.8M box office on a $30M budget. Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty (Dec. 19) (30 min. after midnight) (original title: "For God and Country") (Columbia Pictures), about the manhunt for Osama bin Laden culminating in his May 2, 2011 assassination stars Jessica Chastain as Obama-obsessed sexless (Crusader-like?) CIA agent Maya, Jason Clarke as her fellow intel officer Dan, Jennifer Ehle as doomed CIA analyst Jessica, Kyle Chandler as Islamabad CIA station chief Joseph Bradley, Joel Edgerton as Navy SEAL team leader Patrick, and Chris Pratt as fellow SEAL Justin; Ricky Sekhon plays Osama bin Laden; "The greatest manhunt in history" does $132.8M box office on a $40M budget. Plays: Ayad Akhtar, Disgraced (New York) a dinner party turns into a heated debate about Islam between Pakistani-born Amir and his wife Emily and the rest incl. Jory and her hubby Isaac. Stafford Arima, Bare (Dec. 9) (New York) (86 perf.); coming of age rock musical set in a Roman Catholic boarding school. Harvey Fierstein (1954-) and Cyndi Lauper (1953-), Kinky Boots (musical) (Chicago); based on the 2005 film. Simon Stephens (1971-) and Mark Haddon (1962-), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Royal Nat. Theatre, London) (Aug. 2) (Apollo Theatre, West End, London) (Mar. 12, 2013) (Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York) (Oct. 5, 2014); austistic Christopher John Francis Boone investigates the death of a neighbor's dog with the help of mentor Siobhan. Poetry: Novels: Ayad Akhtar, American Dervish (Jan.) (first novel); a Pakistani Muslim kid grows up in Wisc. James S.A. Carey, Caliban's War. Paul Coelho (1947-), Manuscript Found in Accra. Gillian Flynn (1971-), Gone Girl (June); #1 NYT bestseller (2M copies) about Nick Dunne and his vanished wife Amy; filmed in 2014. Lisa Genova (1970-), Love Anthony (Sept.); a boy with autism. John Green (1977-), The Fault in Our Stars (Jan. 10); 16-y.-o. cancer patient Hazel Grace Lancaster; NYT bestseller; filmed in 2014. Mark Helprin (1947-), In Sunlight and In Shadow (Oct. 12); Jewish business Heir Harry Copeland and Catherine Thomas Hale AKA Catherine Sedley meet on a Staten Island ferry in the late 1940s. Adam Johnson, The Orphan Master's Son; "In North Korea, you weren't born, you were made." Patrick Modiano (1945-), Night Grass (L'Herbe de Nuit). Zahra Noorbakhsh (1980-), Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women (Jan. 24). Kim Stanley Robinson (1952-), 2312 (May 23); Earth has been ravaged by climate change, and the Solar System has been colonized. J.K. Rowling (1965-), The Casual Vacancy. John Scalzi (1969-), Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas. Charles Stross (1964-) and Cory Doctorow (1971-), The Rapture of the Nerds. Brad Thor (1969-), Black List. Patrick White (1912-90), The Hanging Garden (Apr. 2) (posth.) (unfinished). William Paul Young (1955-), Cross Roads (Nov. 13); egotistical businessman Anthony "Tony" Spencer is struck comatose and discovers the world of Christian faith through the eyes of black nurse Maggie Saunders. Births: Deaths: Am. photojournalist Eve Arnold (b. 1912) on Jan. 4 in London, England. Am. bowler Don Carter (b. 1926) on Jan. 5 in Miami, Fla. (emphysema). Indian rock mag. publisher Amit "Papa Rock" Saigal (b. 1965) on Jan. 5 in Goa. Soviet WWII spy Gevork Vartanian (b. 1924) on Jan. 10 in Moscow. Am. Cracker Barrel founder Dan Evins (b. 1935) on Jan. 14 in Lebanon, Tenn. Am. musician Johnny Otis (b. 1921) on Jan. 17 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. "At Last" singer Etta James (b. 1938) on Jan. 20 in Riverside, Calif. Japnese costume designer Eiko Ishioka (b. 1938) on Jan. 21 in Tokyo. Am. football coach Joe Paterno (b. 1926) on Jan. 22 in State College, Penn. (lung cancer). Am. actor James Farentino (b. 1938) on Jan. 24 in Los Angeles, Calif. (heart failure). Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska (b. 1923) on Feb. 1 in Cracow; 1996 Nobel Lit. Prize. English "The Tripods" sci-fi novelist Samuel Youd (b. 1922) on Feb. 3 in Bath, Somerset (bladder cancer). British last veteran of WWII (Women's RAF) Florence Beatrice Green (b. 1901) on Feb. 4 in North Lynn, West Norfolk. Am. "Nick Barkley in The Big Valley" actor Peter Breck (b. 1929) on Feb. 6 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada (dementia). Am. "I Will Always Love You" singer Whitney Houston (b. 1963) on Feb. 11 in Beverly Hills, Calif.; found dead in the bathtub in the Beverly Hills Hilton (OD?). Am. journalist Anthony Shadid (b. ?) on Feb. 16 in Syria (asthma attack while attempting to leave running behind camels). Italian virologist Rene Dulbecco (b. 1914) on Feb. 19 in La Jolla, Calif.; 1975 Nobel Med. Prize. Am. black teen Trayvon Martin (b. 1995) on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. (killed by George Zimmerman). English Monkees singer Davy Jones (b. 1945) on Feb. 29 in Stuart, Fla. (heart attack). Am. serial murderer William Heirens (b. 1928) on Mar. 5 in Chicago, Ill.; dies after recanting his confession and claiming coercion. U.S. rep. (D-N.J.) (1989-2012) Donald Milford Payne (b. 1934) on Mar. 6 in Livingston, N.J. Am. chemist Frank Sherwood Rowland (b. 1927) on Mar. 10 in Newport Beach, Calif.; 1997 Nobel Chem. Prize. Am. Mr. Coffee co-creator Samuel Glazer (b. 1923) on Mar. 12 in Cleveland, Ohio (leukemia). Ukrainian-born Am. accused war criminal John Demjanjuk (b. 1920) on Mar. 17 in Bad Feilnbach, Bavaria; his criminal record is cleared. Egyptian Coptic pope #117 (1971-2012) Shenouda III (b. 1923) on Mar. 17 in Cairo (cancer). Tongan king (2006-12) George Tupou V (b. 1948) on Mar. 18 in Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong. Am. banjo player Earl Scruggs (b. 1924) on Mar. 28 in Nashville, Tenn. Am. physicist Dale Raymond Corson (b. 1914) on Mar. 31 in Ithaca, N.Y. Am. economist Halbert L. White Jr. (b. 1950) on Mar. 31. Mexican pres. #52 (1982-8) Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado (b. 1934) on Apr. 1 in Mexico City (COPD). Am. taxi driver Rodney King (b. 1965) on June 27 in Rialto, Calif. Malawian pres. #3 (2004-12) Bingu wa Mutharika (b. 1934) on Apr. 5 in Lilongwe (heart attack). Algerian pres. #1 (1963-5) Ahmed Ben Bella (b. 1916) on Apr. 11 in Algiers. Am. "American Bandstand" MC Dick Clark (b. 1929) on Apr. 18 (heart attack). Australian Men at Work musician Greg Ham (b. 1953) on Apr. 19 in Melbourne. Am. "The Band" musician Levon Helm (b. 1940) on Apr. 19 in New York City (cancer). Am. Watergate conspirator Chuck Colson (b. 1931) on Apr. 21 in Falls Church, Va. English writer Charles Higham (b. 1931) on Apr. 12 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. football linebacker Junior Seau (b. 1969) (San Diego Chargers #55, 1990-2002) on May 2 in Oceanside, Calif. (suicide). Am. Beastie Boys musician Adam Yauch (b. 1964) on May 4 in New York City (salivary gland cancer). Am. "Goober in The Andy Griffith Show" actor George Lindsey (b. 1928) on May 6 in Nashville, Tenn. Yemeni al-Qaida member Fahd al-Quso (b. 1974) on May 6; killed by a U.S. drone strike. U.S. atty. gen. #65 (1965-6) Nick Katzenbach (b. 1922) on May 8 in Skillman, N.J. Am. automobile designer Carroll Shelby (b. 1923) on May 10 in Dallas, Tex. Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes (b. 1928) on May 15 in Mexico City. Am. Go-go musician Chuck Brown (b. 1936) on May 16 in Baltimore, Md. (heart failure). Am. singer Donna Summer (b. 1948) on May 17 in Naples, Fla. (lung cancer); sold 130M+ records. Am. basketball player Bob Boozer (b. 1937) on May 19 in Omaha, Neb. English Bee Gees musician Robin Gibb (b. 1949) on May 20 in London (colorectal cancer). Am. musician Doc Watson (b. 1923) on May 29 in Winston-Salem, N.C. Am. basketball player Jack Twyman (b. 1934) on May 30 in Cincinnati, Ohio (cancer). Indian astrophysicist J.C. Bhattacharyya (b. 1930) on June 4 in New Delhi. English novelist Barry Unsworth (b. 1930) on June 4 in Italy. Am. "Fahrenheit 451" novelist Ray Bradbury (b. 1920) on June 5 in Los Angeles, Calif. French philosopher Roger Garaudy (b. 1913) on June 13 in Paris. Am. chemist William S. Knowles (b. 1917) on June 13 in Chesterfield, Mo.; 2001 Nobel Chem. Prize. Saudi crown prince Nayef (b. 1934) on June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland (heart failure). Am. artist LeRoy Neiman (b. 1921) on June 20 in New York City. Canadian hockey hall-of-fame player Fernie Flaman (b. 1927) on June 22 in Westwood, Mass. Am. gay activist psychiatrist Richard A. Isay (b. 1934) on June 28 in New York City (carcinoma). Am. actor Andy Griffith (b. 1926) on July 3 in Manteo, N.C. Am. physicist Kenneth Ross MacKenzie (b. 1912) on July 4 in Los Angeles, Calif. Haitian anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot (b. 1949) on July 5 in Chicago, Ill.: "Any historical narrative is a bundle of silences." "But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." "But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past - or more accurately, pastness - is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." Am. "McHale's Navy" actor Ernest Borgnine (b. 1917) on July 8 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. "Bewitched" dir. William Asher (b. 1921) on July 16 in Palm Desert, Calif. Am. writer Stephen Covey (b. 1932) on July 16 in Idaho Falls, Idaho (bicycle accident in Rock Canyon Park). English Deep Purple musician Jon Lord (b. 1941) on July 16 in London (pancreatic cancer). Am. country singer Kitty Wells (b. 1919) on July 16 in Madison, Tenn. (stroke). Egyptian gen. Omar Suleiman (b. 1936) on July 19 in Cleveland, Ohio (heart attack) (assassinated by the CIA or Mossad?). Am. cognitive psychologist George Armitage Miller (b. 1920) on July 22 in Plainsboro, N.J. Am. astronaut Sally Ride (b. 1951) on July 23. Am. "Dr. Joe Gannon in Medical Center" actor Chad Everett (b. 1937) on July 24 in Los Angeles, Calif. (lung cancer). Ghanaian pres. (2009-12) John Atta Mills (b. 1944) on July 24 in Accra (throat cancer). Am. "The Rat Patrol" actor Justin Tarr (b. 1940) on July 26 in Hawaii. Am. singer-actor Tony Martin (b. 1912) on July 27 in Los Angeles, Calif. English archeologist James Mellaart (b. 1925) on July 29 in London. Am. "Myra Breckenridge" writer Gore Vidal (b. 1925) on July 31 in Hollywood Hills, Calif. (pneumonia): "For those who haven't read the books, I am known best for my hair preparations." Am. basketball player Dan Roundfield (b. 1953) on Aug. 6 in Aruba (drowned). Am. social scientist Robert Duncan Luce (b. 1925) on Aug. 11. Am. astronaut Neil Armstrong (b. 1930) on Aug. 12 in Cincinnati, Ohio; buried at sea. Polish-born comic book artist Joe Kubert (b. 1926) on Aug. 12 in Morristown, N.J. (multiple myeloma). Am. sci-fi writer Harry Harrison (b. 1925) on Aug. 15 in Brighton, England. Am. "Cmdr. Matt Decker in Star Trek: TOS" "actor William Windom (b. 1923) on Aug. 16 in Woodacre, Calif. (congestive heart failure). English "Carrie's War" children's writer Nina Bawden (b. 1925) on Aug. 22 in London. Am. basketball player Art Heyman (b. 1941) on Aug. 27 in Clermont, Fla. English historian Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (b. 1953) on Aug. 29. Am. "Alfie", "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" lyricist Hal David (b. 1921) on Sept. 1 in Los Angeles, Calif. (stroke). Am. "John Coffey in The Green Mile" actor Michael Clarke Duncan (b. 1957) on Sept. 3 in Los Angeles, Calif. (heart attack). South Korean Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon (b. 1920) on Sept. 3 in Gapyeong. Am. NFL Cleveland Browns owner (1961-96) Art Modell (b. 1925) on Sept. 6 in Baltimore, Md. Am. "Power vs. Force" psychiatrist David R. Hawkins (b. 1927) on Sept. 19 in Sedona, Ariz. U.S. ambassador John Christopher Stevens (b. 1960) on Sept. 12 in Benghazi, Libya (KIA). Am. New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger (b. 1926) on Sept. 29 in Southampton, N.Y. Canadian figure skater Barbara Ann Scott (b. 1928) on Sept. 30 in Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Fla. English historian Eric Hobsbawm (b. 1917) on Oct. 1 in London. Danish jazz musician John Tchicai (b. 1936) on Oct. 8 in Perpignan, France (brain hemorhage). U.S. Rep. (D-Fla.) (1963-97) Sam Gibbons (b. 1920) on Oct. 10 in Tampa, Fla. Am. psychologist John Garcia (b. 1917) on Oct. 12. Am. actor Gary Collins (b. 1938) on Oct. 12 in Biloxi, Miss. Am. politician Arlen Specter (b. 1930) on Oct. 14 in Philadelphia, Penn. Am. Earth Day founder John McConnell (b. 1915) on Oct. 20. Am. Oglala Sioux activist Russell Means (b. 1939) on Oct. 22 in Porcupine, S.D. (esophageal cancer). Am. 5Rhythms dance instructor Gabrielle Roth (b. 1941) on Oct. 22 in New York City (lung cancer). French "From Dawn to Decadence" cultural historian Jacques Barzun (b. 1907) on Oct. 25 in San Antonio, Tex.: "Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball"; "Old age is like learning a new profession. And not one of your own choosing"; "History cannot be a science; it is the very opposite, in that its interest resides in the particulars." English New Age writer Murry Hope (b. 1929) on Oct. 25 in Emsworth, West Sussex. Am. historian Richard N. Current (b. 1912) on Oct. 26 in Boston, Mass. (Parkinson's). Am. historian Thomas Kincaid McCraw (b. 1940) on Nov. 3 in Cambridge, Mass. Irish-Am. feminist writer Patricia Monaghan (b. 1946) on Nov. 11 in Black Earth, Wisc. Am. psychiatrist Daniel N. Stern (b. 1934) on Nov. 12 in Geneva, Switzerland. Am. chemist James Bassham (b. 1922) on Nov. 19 in El Cerrito, Calif. Soviet sci-fi novelist Boris Strugatsky (b. 1933) on Nov. 19 in St. Petersburg. Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab (b. 1987) on Nov. 21 in Pune, India (hanged). Am. "J.R. in Dallas" actor Larry Hagman (b. 1931) on Nov. 23 in North Dallas, Tx. (throat cancer). Puerto Rican boxing champ Hector "Macho" Camacho (b. 1962) on Nov. 24 in San Juan (car shooting). Am. surgeon Joseph E. Murray (b. 1919) on Nov. 28 in Boston, Mass.; 1990 Nobel Med. Prize. Am. motivational speaker Zig Ziglar (b. 1926) on Nov. 28 in Plano, Tex. (pneumonia). Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer (b. 1907) on Dec. 5 in Rio de Janeiro. Am. physician William Fouts House (b. 1923) on Dec. 7 in Aurora, Ore. German-born Am. economist Albert Otto Hirschman (b. 1915) on Dec. 10 in Ewing Township, N.J. Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar (b. 1920) on Dec. 11 in San Diego, Calif. French mountain climber Maurice Herzog (b. 1919) on Dec. 13 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. U.S. Sen. (D-Hawaii) (1963-2012) Daniel Inouye (b. 1924) on Dec. 17 in Bethesda, Md. Am. judge Robert Bork (b. 1927) on Dec. 19 in Arlington, Va. (heart disease). Am. headmistress Jean Harris (b. 1923) on Dec. 23 in New Haven, Conn. Am. actor "Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple" Jack Klugman (b. 1922) on Dec. 24 in Woodland Hills, Calif. U.S. gen. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. (b. 1934) on Dec. 27.