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Year in Review: Most-read news stories

Associated Press

 

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Courtesy of Yahoo

The death of a bogeyman who haunted a generation. A record-magnitude earthquake and a tsunami that swept away towns. The trial of the summer. A sudden passing. Dead-at-27 club. The next generation's go at a fairy-tale wedding. A disturbed man's action and the toxic side of politics. The toppling of long-entrenched regimes.

Those were just some of the many, many breaking news stories that hit us in 2011 and commandeered our online attention. While the Top 10 Searches focus on related keywords, the Top 10 News Stories involve a wider range of searches and include an analysis on the most-read news stories on Yahoo!.

The Yahoo! Year in Review editorial lead for five years running, Vera H-C Chan dissects news events, pop-culture idiosyncrasies, and online behavior to probe the "why" behind what's Web-hot with media and online. On Yahoo!, her articles can be found in News, TVMovies, and her Shine blog Fast-Talking Dame. Across the Net, there are remnants of contributions to a cultural travel guidemartial arts encyclopediamovie criticism, business profiles, and A&E/features reporting.

 

No. 10: Occupy Wall Street  >>

 

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News

  • One of three nursing home employees accused of repeatedly ignoring a World War II veteran’s last pleas for help before his death has surrendered to authorities. Wanda Nuckles, 61, of Buford, turned herself in to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, sheriff’s spokeswoman Cynthia Williams said. RELATED: Nursing home employees indicted in death of neglected World War II vet Nuckles was a licensed practical nurse at the time of the incident four years ago that left James Dempsey, 89, dead in his room at Northeast Atlanta Rehabilitation Center. She no longer has her credentials, Williams said. She is charged with depriving an elder person of essential services and concealing a death.  Nuckles, Loyce Pickquet Agyeman and Mable Turman were recently indicted in the incident. Agyeman and Turman remain at large, Williams said. VIEW: Map of crime in metro Atlanta NEW: Join the discussion at the AJC's Crime & Safety Facebook group Know what’s really going on with crime and public safety in your metro Atlanta community, including breaking news, trial coverage, trends and the latest on unsolved cases. Sign up for the AJC’s crime and safety newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox. In other news:
  • Latest updates, results, photo galleries and stories from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
  • An Orlando, Florida, doctor has been arrested for Medicaid fraud. The Florida Department of Health and the Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit said Friday that Dr. Ishrat Sohail is accused of giving vaccines to patients with private insurance. The vaccines were intended for Medicaid patients and uninsured children as part of the Vaccines for Children Program, or VFC, officials said. >> Read more trending news  Officials said Sohail is accused of giving patients partial doses of vaccines while billing insurance for the full amount, officials said. The partial doses also may not provide sufficient protection from potentially dangerous diseases that can be prevented with a full dose of vaccine. The health department is working with the Agency for Health Care Administration and health insurance companies to notify all potentially affected families. At this time, it is estimated that approximately 500 children may have been affected, officials said in a news release. Read: Florida eye doctor gets 17 years for Medicare fraud Sohail’s license to practice medicine in the state of Florida has been suspended by the state. In 2016, the department determined that Sohail administered two vials of VFC vaccines to non-Medicaid patients and billed private insurance companies, officials said. She was suspended from the VFC program for two months.  Read: Florida doctor facing long Medicare fraud sentence Officials said Sohail was placed on a corrective action plan, which limited the number of doses of vaccines available to her and in January, she was found to be in noncompliance. Any child who received a vaccine from Sohail between 2016 and 2018 should contact a new primary care provider and consider revaccination, officials said. There is also the possibility that Sohail did not follow best practices in maintaining the sterility of the vaccines she administered. Officials say that, if a child experienced a severe adverse reaction or infection at the injection site of any vaccine administered by Sohail or her staff, patients should contact the Epidemiology Department at the Department of Health in Orange at 407-858-1485.
  • President Donald Trump renewed his criticism of John McCain for the senator's dramatic thumbs-down deciding vote last year against the GOP health care repeal. Without using McCain's name, Trump spoke of his move in December that effectively defeated the overhaul in a close vote. The president told the Conservative Political Action Conference that 'except for one Senator, who came into a room at three o'clock in the morning and went like that,' Trump gave a thumbs-down, 'we would have had health care (reform), too.' The crowd booed. Trump added, 'I won't use his name.' McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer last summer and is in Arizona battling the disease. His daughter, Meghan McCain, said Friday on ABC's 'The View,' that she'd address Trump's remarks with her mother, Cindy, next week.
  • A man known as the 'stocking strangler,' who was convicted of raping and choking to death three elderly women four decades ago in Georgia is set for execution next month. Carlton Gary was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1977 slayings of 89-year-old Florence Scheible, 69-year-old Martha Thurmond and 74-year-old Kathleen Woodruff. Gary, 67, is scheduled to die March 15 at the state prison in Jackson, state Attorney General Chris Carr said Friday in a news release. Gary's lawyers maintain that the wrong man was arrested, that their client didn't commit the attacks. But state and federal courts have repeatedly rejected their arguments over the years. For eight months, from September 1977 to April 1978, a string of violent attacks on older women terrified the west Georgia city of Columbus. The women, ranging in age from 59 to 89, were beaten, raped and choked, often with their own stockings. Seven died and two were injured in the attacks. Police arrested Gary six years after the last killing, in May 1984. A charismatic and talented musician, he was popular with the ladies and good looking enough to model for a local store. He became a suspect when a gun stolen during a 1977 burglary in the upscale neighborhood where all but one of the victims lived was traced to him. Authorities have said he confessed to participating in the burglaries but he said another man committed the rapes and killings. Gary had been behind bars on and off since his teens and had escaped prisons in upstate New York and South Carolina. A jury in August 1986 convicted him on three counts each of malice murder, rape and burglary and sentenced him to die. While prosecutors only charged him in three of the attacks, they have consistently said they believe he was solely responsible for all nine of the so-called stocking strangler crimes and they presented evidence of the other attacks at trial. Prosecutors argued that common factors established a pattern. The victims were all older white women who lived alone and were sexually assaulted and choked, usually with stockings. They were attacked at home, usually in the evening, by someone who forced his way inside. All but one lived in the Wynnton neighborhood, and all lived near where Gary lived at the time of the crimes. Prosecutors also presented evidence that they said connected Gary to similar crimes in New York state. Gary came within hours of execution in December 2009, when the Georgia Supreme Court stepped in, ordering a lower court to consider DNA testing. Following the testing and more hearings, a judge last September denied Gary's request for a new trial. The state Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of that ruling. In a November filing with Georgia's high court, Gary's attorneys said physical evidence that wasn't available at the time of his trial — either because new testing is now available or because the state didn't disclose it to the defense — 'at least raises reasonable doubts' about his guilt. That new evidence includes a DNA test of semen found on the sleeping gown of one of the victims that doesn't match Gary. That's significant, his lawyers argue, because that victim survived the attack and dramatically identified him at trial as her attacker. Gary was not charged in her attack. His lawyers also say a bite mark found on one of the victims didn't match Gary's teeth and that a shoe print found at one of the scenes was much too small to be Gary's. They also question the validity of fingerprint evidence presented in the case and an unrecorded and unsigned confession. Lawyers for the state disputed those claims, saying Gary's case has been repeatedly reviewed by the courts, which have rejected his claims. They noted in a filing with the high court that the state now has even more evidence that proves Gary's guilt and that the judge who denied him a new trial found that none of the evidence Gary's lawyers cited would likely have changed the verdict. Gary would be the first inmate put to death by the state of Georgia this year.
  • The White House has been placed on lockdown following an incident with a vehicle which rammed the security barrier near the building.