Peter Clatworthy, 19, thought he had landed a bargain when he purchased the much sought-after games console online on November 28
2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
The standout news & pop obsessions gleaned from your search habits
Year in Review 2012: Astronomical Wonders
Once-in-a-lifetime astronomical events and monumental scientific achievements drove people to look to the skies and online on Yahoo! throughout 2012.
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- Sharks Do Get Cancer: Tumor Found in Great White
Scientists have known for more than 150 years that sharks get cancer. That misconception is promoted in part by those who sell shark cartilage, who claim that the substance will help cure cancer, said David Shiffman, a shark researcher and doctoral student at the University of Miami. But no studies have shown that shark cartilage is an effective treatment, and the demand for the material has helped decimate shark populations, researchers say: Humans kill about 100 million sharks per year, according to a March 2013 study (although many factors contribute to the killing of sharks, including demand for shark-fin soup). "This was a very unusual sight as we have never before seen a [great] white shark with tumors," said Rachel Robbins, a study co-author and shark biologist at the Fox Shark Research Foundation, near Adelaide, in southern Australia.
- Weather: Thousands Evacuated Amid Tidal Surge
Thousands of homes are thought to have been flooded as Britain is hit by its most serious tidal surge for more than 60 years. It comes after a powerful Atlantic storm, packing winds of up to 140mph, claimed two lives and caused widespread disruption. The Environment Agency has more than 129 flood warnings and alerts in place across England and Wales, including 23 severe flood warnings which are only issued when flooding poses a "significant threat to life".
- Weather: Two Dead And Thousands Evacuated
Emergency services launched rescue operations as hurricane-force winds moved south from Scotland, some of which topped 142mph in mountainous areas of Aberdeenshire and Inverness-shire. Across the country more than 100,000 properties were left without electricity as gales sent trees crashing into power lines. Thousands of homes in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent were evacuated ahead of a predicted storm surge experts feared could be higher than those during the devastating floods of 1953 - which battered the east coast of England and claimed the lives of hundreds of people. However, some coastal flood defences could be "overtopped" by the combined effect of high tides, high winds and a large tidal surge.
- Tidal surge causes floods and evacuations: Live blog
Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes after the largest North Sea surge for more than 60 years - and there are set to be exceptionally high tides today and tomorrow.
- U.S. unemployment rate hits five-year low, eyes on the Fed
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 203,000 jobs last month, following a similarly robust rise in October, the Labor Department said on Friday. The report, which showed broad gains in employment and a rise in hourly earnings, suggested strength in the economy heading into year-end. "It will add further confidence to the Fed of a reduced need for monetary stimulus in the U.S. economy. The unemployment rate dropped three tenths of a percentage point to its lowest level since November 2008 as some federal employees who were counted as jobless in October returned to work after a 16-day partial shutdown of the government.
- Giant Alien Planet Discovered in Most Distant Orbit Ever Seen
An enormous alien planet — one that is 11 times more massive than Jupiter — was discovered in the most distant orbit yet found around a single parent star. The newfound exoplanet, dubbed HD 106906 b, dwarfs any planetary body in the solar system, and circles its star at a distance that is 650 times the average distance between the Earth and the sun. "This system is especially fascinating because no model of either planet or star formation fully explains what we see," study lead researcher Vanessa Bailey, a fifth-year graduate student in the University of Arizona's department of astronomy, said in a statement. In the most commonly accepted theories of planet formation, it is thought that planets that orbit close to their parent star, such as Earth, began as small, asteroid-type bodies that clumped together in the primordial disk of gas and dust around the burgeoning star.
- Major US Winter Storm Spotted from Space
Unlike the balmy, decidedly un-December like weather that has enveloped parts of the eastern United States, the West and Midwest have gotten a harsh blast of winter thanks to a powerful storm that blanketed a large swath of the country. The storm has dumped large amounts of snow and sent bone-chilling winds rushing across affected areas. Big Hole National Park, in Montana, reported a temperature of minus 31.9 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 35.5 degrees Celsius) this morning (Dec. 5), and the National Weather Service reported snowfalls in the area from an inch to more than a foot. Snow currently covers most of the Northern Plains, and is expected to continue through today, with the system gradually moving eastward and bringing snow and a mix of snow, ice and rain to areas from the Ohio Valley up to Albany, N.Y., according to Accuweather.