The pace of news is getting faster and faster — especially when a story can be captured in a single image. We were flooded with photos from the Middle East uprisings this year. And floods dominated the news, too; in Japan, Thailand, Vicksburg, scenes of high waters made a lasting impression.
It was a year of destruction and disaster — the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the back-to-back tragedies in Japan. But there were also the lighthearted events: a royal wedding and a good year for Ryan Gosling, if you know your memes, but we won't go there.
Models hold the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus Android phone during its official launch in Hong Kong in October. The new smartphone runs Google's Android "Ice Cream Sandwich" operating system.
Credit Laurent Fievet / AFP/Getty Images
Apple's iPhones may seem more cool, but the Google-backed Android phones are much more popular in the United States. In 2011, Android's U.S. market share was 53 percent, compared to 29 percent for the iPhone, according to the research group NPD.
Sleepy police were likelier to fall asleep while driving, a new survey of nearly 5,000 officers in the U.S. and Canada finds. About 40 percent of officers surveyed reported sleep disorders, with various health implications.
Credit Sean Locke / iStockphoto
Harvard researchers say they've uncovered a big problem among the nation's 700,000 police officers: a serious lack of sleep.
In what's believed to be the first study of its kind, the researchers queried nearly 5,000 municipal and state police officers in the U.S. and Canada about their sleep habits and symptoms of possible sleep disorders. Then they assessed their on-duty performance for two years.
Forty percent had sleep disorders, and the vast majority of these were undiagnosed before.
Ireland is ranked second followed by Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. Charities Aid Foundation used Gallup's Worldview Poll to look at three behaviors: "giving money, volunteering time and helping a stranger."
The U.S. came out on top after being ranked fifth last year.
Federal policemen escort the armored car carrying a member of Los Zetas drug cartel on June 17. The security forces have been accused of abuses in the fight against the drug cartels.
Credit Yuri Cortez / AFP/Getty Images
Mexican soldiers at a ceremony in Ciudad Mier on Dec. 8. The military and other branches of the security forces have now battled the cartels for five years. While most of the violence is blamed on the cartels, human rights groups say the security forces have also been linked to abuses.
Credit Alfredo Estrella / AFP/Getty Images
In Mexico, the last five years of President Felipe Calderon's drug war have been marked by brutal violence, unsolved kidnappings and tens of thousands of deaths. Most of violence has come from the drug gangs, but some of these atrocities have been committed by the Mexican military and police.
Human rights groups say that as state security forces battle the drug cartels, they've tortured, abducted and killed criminal suspects and even innocent civilians.