School massacre forces AP to conduct new round of ‘Top Stories of 2012’ voting

The Associated Press was scheduled to release its Top Stories of 2012 today (the voting deadline was last Thursday), but the Sandy Hook School tragedy has forced another vote. Here’s the memo that AP projects editor Brooke Lansdale sent to AP member editors:


Due to the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and other recent developments, The Associated Press is conducting a new round of voting on the top news stories of the year.
If you already voted earlier this month, please use this link to vote in the new poll: http://XXXXX. If you did not vote previously, please use this link to cast your vote: http://XXXX. Alternatively, you can respond by fax using the attached PDF files.

This poll is for AP members and customers only, and the link is NOT TO BE REDISTRIBUTED ONLINE OR IN PRINT. Each organization should vote only once in each poll.

Voting ends on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. EST. Results will be transmitted on Thursday, Dec. 20.

Thank you for your participation,
The AP

Here are the stories being considered (voters are told to select 10 and number them from 1 to 10 in order of preference):

– Syria wracked by civil warfare as rebels try to dislodge Bashar Assad.
– Superstorm Sandy kills more than 170 in 10 states, Caribbean; ravages parts of NJ, NY.
– China: Blind dissident lawyer makes dramatic escape from house arrest into U.S. protection.
– London Olympics: Britain successfully hosts Summer Games.
– French politics: Francois Hollande and the Socialist Party win power. /CONTINUED
– Afghanistan: Woes for US troops – Quran burning, alleged rampage by GI, attacks by allies.
– US election: Obama defeats Romney, Democrats gain in Congress though GOP retains House.
– CIA Director David Petraeus resigns, admits affair; other generals also linked to scandals.
– Egypt holds first free presidential elections; Hosni Mubarak sentenced to life in prison.
– Somalia: al-Shabab rebels retreat from big cities; stability returns after decades of chaos.
– Boy Scouts of America, under court order, release extensive confidential sex-abuse files.
– Singer Whitney Houston dies at 48 from accidental drowning complicated by drug use.
– Libya: Four Americans, including ambassador, killed in assault on US consulate in Benghazi.
– Gay marriage: Obama backs it; legalized for first time by popular vote in three states.
– Lance Armstrong stripped of Tour de France titles, accused of years of drug cheating.
– Russia: Putin re-elected president, faces protests by Pussy Riot and others.
– North Korea: New leader solidifies grip but satellite launch ends in costly failure.
– Marijuana: Voters in Colorado, Washington approve legalized recreational use of pot.
– China: New leadership named amid political scandals, slowing economy, social unrest.
– British media woes: Turmoil at BBC over sex-abuse cases, at newspapers over phone-hacking.
– Israel and Gaza-based Hamas battle for eight days via airstrikes, rocket attacks.
– Iran: Pressure mounts over its nuclear program, but regime is unyielding.
– US economy: Gradual improvement on many fronts, but lingering wariness over future.
– GOP primaries: Mitt Romney wins nomination after multiple debates, gaffes by rivals.
– Devastating drought and wildfires in Midwest, Plains and Mountain states.
– Myanmar: Impoverished nation emerges from long isolation and Suu Kyi elected to Parliament.
– Mass shootings: Attacks kill 27, including 20 children, in Connecticut; 12 in Colorado cinema.
– Susan Komen cancer charity halts grants to Planned Parenthood, backtracks amid furor.
– Penn State scandal: Joe Paterno dies; Jerry Sandusky convicted of sex-abuse charges.
– European Union woes: Greece verges on chaos; mounting protests against austerity moves.
– NASA’s rover Curiosity lands on Mars to start two-year research mission.
– Obamacare: Supreme Court upholds President Obama’s health care overhaul.
– WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange takes refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London.
– South Africa unrest: Widespread labor strife; police fire on striking miners, kill 34.
– Venezuela: President Hugo Chavez wins re-election and re-endorsement of socialist policies.
– Mali: al-Qaida-linked Islamist fighters seize northern half of West African nation.
– Trayvon Martin case: Neighborhood watch leader claims self-defense, is charged with killing.
– Immigration: Obama halts deportation of young illegal immigrants brought to US by parents.
– Honduras prison fire kills more than 360 inmates.
– Secret Service agents, soldiers arrested for escapades in Colombia prior to Obama visit.
– God particle: Scientists hail discovery of subatomic particle called Higgs boson.
– BP agrees to record $4.5 billion settlement over massive 2010 oil spill in Gulf of Mexico.
– Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker survives recall election.
– Deadly tornadoes in March strike southern Illinois and Indiana, and parts of the south.
– Chicago teachers strike shuts down nation’s third largest school district for seven days.
– Meningitis outbreak tied to contaminated medications kills dozens, sickens hundreds.
– Explosions at arms depot in Republic of Congo kill more than 290.
– Daredevil skydiver shatters sound barrier, makes highest jump ever from 24 miles.
– Costa Concordia cruise ship runs aground, capsizes off Italian island, killing 32.
– Fiscal cliff: Obama and GOP leaders in high-stakes showdown over tax hikes and spending cuts.
– Want to write-in your own vote? Do so here: