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Merrimack Valley

December 12, 2012

People in the news

Penn: Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is like Detroit

NEW YORK (AP) — As the three-year mark approaches of the devastating earthquake in Haiti that killed, injured and displaced hundreds of thousands of people, actor- activist Sean Penn describes life in the country’s capital city.

In the January issue of Esquire magazine, Penn compares Port-au-Prince to Detroit, saying, “It’s not more dangerous, it’s not less dangerous.”

Penn founded a relief organization in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. He still spends about half his time there.

The two-time Oscar winner says a child with a fever in the U.S. gets medicine, a cold bath, or a trip to the emergency room. In Haiti, he says, parents wait “to see if he’s going to die or not.”

The January issue of Esquire goes on sale Dec. 18.

2012’s Most Googled: Whitney, PSY, Sandy

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The world’s attention wavered between the tragic and the silly in 2012, and along the way, millions of people searched the Web to find out about a royal princess, the latest iPad, and a record-breaking skydiver.

Whitney Houston was the “top trending” search of the year, according to Google Inc.’s year-end “zeitgeist” report. Google’s 12th annual roundup is “an in-depth look at the spirit of the times as seen through the billions of searches on Google over the past year,” the company said in a blog post Wednesday.

People around the globe searched en masse for news about Houston’s accidental drowning in a bathtub just before she was to perform at a pre-Grammy Awards party in February.

Google defines topics as “trending” when they garner a high amount of traffic over a sustained period of time.

Korean rapper PSY’s “Gangnam Style” music video trotted into second spot, a testament to his self-deprecating giddy-up dance move. The video is approaching a billion views on YouTube.

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