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Sunday, September 21, 2014


News of: Thursday, 8th of November, 2012

Front Page

Hope Revived

Barack Obama has been re-elected president of the United States, overcoming powerful economic headwinds, a lock-step resistance to his agenda by Republicans in Congress and an unprecedented torrent of advertising as a divided nation voted to give him more time.

President Obama’s acceptance speech

How Obama prevailed

A solid showing among his key '08 demographic constituencies —coupled with a small dose of economic optimism — and a feeling that Mitt Romney was out of touch with the middle class helped propel President Obama to re-election, according to exit polling conducted Tuesday.

Where Romney failed to sail

Mitt Romney was a shrewd businessman, a skilled governor and an Olympic turnaround master, but on Tuesday his six-year quest for the presidency came to a crushing end.

Recipe for friction

Democrats held the Senate and Republicans retained the House of Representatives, projections said yesterday, raising the likely prospect of more partisan gridlock in a divided US Congress.

Romney concedes defeat

Republican challenger Mitt Romney conceded defeat in the US election early yesterday, telling supporters that he had called President Barack Obama to congratulate him on his victory.

Mitt Romney's concession speech

Obama triumphs in Dhaka

Reelected US President Barack Obama triumphed in Dhaka too in mock voting in which some invited dignitaries of Bangladesh and US embassy officials took part.

His another chance to deliver promises

The last time a triumphant Barack Obama appeared before thousands of cheering supporters in Chicago and promised change, there was indeed a sense that the world had shifted on its axis, and that the election of America's first black president – whose middle name was Hussein – would transform the world.

Economy tops voter concerns

It's little surprise that the economy weighed heavily on the minds of the US voters as they exited the polls on Tuesday.

Congrats, Obama

Dhaka has congratulated President Barack Obama on his reelection to the office of the president of the United States.

Modasser's 'mistake'

Prime minister's Health Adviser Modasser Ali has finally admitted to have made a "mistake" by visiting the scam-hit Ruposhi Bangla Hotel branch of Sonali Bank where he was introduced to Hall-Mark Managing Director Tanvir Mahmud.

60 feared dead in boat capsize

Around 60 people are feared dead after an overcrowded engine boat carrying 110 jobseekers capsized in the Bay of Bengal near Teknaf early yesterday on its way to Malaysia.

New leaders set to take over CPC

When the whole world is congratulating Barack Obama on his second term in the Oval Office, 1.34 billion people in China await a historic change in the governing Communist Party of China (CPC).

Sircar charged

The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday pressed charges against former speaker Jamir Uddin Sircar and a former official of the Parliament Secretariat in two cases in connection with misappropriating Tk 33 lakh.

Bigots attack Ahmadiyya community in Rangpur

Religious bigots allegedly with links to Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday launched an attack on Ahmadiyya community in Taraganj upazila of Rangpur, leaving 15 people injured.

SP, OC failed to take right steps

A police probe body blamed the then superintendent of police of Cox's Bazar and officer-in-charge of Ramu Police Station for failure to take appropriate measures and contain the situation during the mayhem on September 29.

BB asked to take action

The government has asked the Bangladesh Bank to take action against the management of Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd (DMCSL) under the Money Laundering Act.

Deal signed to cement ties with Laos

Bangladesh and Laos yesterday signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation in political and economic areas, and expand connectivity in the region.

Dhaka seeks Delhi's help in dredging

Pending a solution to sharing of the waters of common rivers including the Teesta, Bangladesh yesterday sought India's help for dredging and re-excavating those rivers to ensure irrigation in the lower riparian country.

Hina Rabbani due in Dhaka tomorrow

Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar will arrive in Dhaka tomorrow morning as special envoy to invite Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Islamabad to attend the Developing-8 Summit on November 22.

More arrests over Jamaat rampage

Law enforcers arrested 143 more leaders and activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir in drives overnight Tuesday in the capital and six other districts for violence and attacks on policemen.

World leaders hail Obama

World leaders yesterday hailed President Barack Obama's sweeping re-election, with allies pledging to deepen cooperation with the United States on fighting the world economic slump and maintaining security across the globe.

Victory of love

Singing and dancing, the ancestral village of Barack Obama celebrated yesterday the re-election of the son of their soil, who won because he knows how to "love all people", his grandmother said.

Editorial

Hearty congratulations to Obama

We felicitate Barack Obama and Joe Biden on their reelection to US Presidency and express our admiration for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan who offered a hard fight to Obama and his team, and also for a gracious concession. The proceedings and the results captivated millions of viewers all over the world to the verve and vitality of a democracy in a truly pluralistic mosaic of a society.

Sports

'Team more balanced'

West Indies captain Darren Sammy has said that the current West Indian team is a 'more balanced' side as compared to the side that toured Bangladesh last year. In a press conference at the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) headquarters in Mirpur yesterday, Sammy stated that his team could excel under any condition.

Practice match in jeopardy

The sun came out yesterday after three days of persistent rainfall but still it will not be possible to start the three-day warm-up match between the visiting West Indies and BCB XI today at the BKSP cricket ground because of a wet outfield.

PFLC places its demands

The high-ups of six top-tier professional football league clubs except for Abahani, Muktijoddha Sangsad and Arambagh KS yesterday met with the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president Kazi Salahuddin to place their demands ahead of the Bangladesh Premier League which begins on November 13.

Siddikur's Singapore challenge

Bangladesh's premier golfer Siddikur Rahman will hope to get his struggling season back in shape as he begins the quest for the Singapore Open from today. The 27-year old golfer, who finished 45th and 76th in the two prestigious competitions in the last two weeks, will look for a better performance in the $6million Singapore Open which will be held at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore.

England not afraid of spinners

Despite their recent struggle against slow bowlers in subcontinent conditions, England spinner Graeme Swann has dismissed talks that Indian spinners would be a threat to the visiting batsmen during the upcoming four-Test series, starting in Ahmedabad on

Ajgor special chess champ

Ajgor Ali became unbeaten champion in the Grameenphone 11th National Special Chess Tournament, organised by Bangladesh Braille Chess Society and sponsored by Grameenphone, at the Bangladesh Chess Federation Hall Room yesterday.

Novak breaks Andy

Novak Djokovic won the latest instalment of his thrilling rivalry with Andy Murray as the world number one fought back to secure a dramatic 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory in the ATP Tour Finals at London's O2 Arena on Wednesday.

No. 1 ranking at stake

Pace-packed South Africa's number one world ranking is on the line in a mouth-watering Test series against an in-form Australia team that starts at Brisbane's Gabba on Friday.

No to Pataudi trophy

India's cricket chiefs have turned down a proposal to name the trophy for the upcoming Tests against England after former captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, who died last year aged 70.

Ricky's eyes on Gabba

Senior batsman Ricky Ponting plans to step up sprint work to prove his fitness from a hamstring injury ahead of Friday's opening Brisbane Test against South Africa.

Aussie stint thrills Ajmal

Pakistan's wily off-spinner Saeed Ajmal said Wednesday he was thrilled at joining Adelaide Strikers for the Australian Big Bash Twenty20 league next month.

BOA election schedule announced

The schedule for the November 29 election of the executive committee Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) was released yesterday. The nomination papers for the election will be distributed from November 15 to 19 and the date for nomination paper submission has been set on November 21. The nomination papers will be scrutinised on November 22 and the last date for nomination withdrawal has been set on November 25.

Bell hopes for best

England batsman Ian Bell is confident of putting up a good show in the Test series against India, starting on November 15, despite a poor form and an impending paternity leave.

Ozil earns vital point

Mesut Ozil saved Madrid with a brilliant late free-kick to earn a Champions League point in an entertaining 2-2 draw with Borussia Dortmund in the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.

Pep's agent in Milan?

Rumours of Pep Guardiola's interest in taking over at AC Milan gathered pace Tuesday when the agent and brother of the former Barcelona supremo was seen with officials from the Serie A club, said a report.

Drogba pledges better times

Three coaches, boardroom upheaval and a reported players' strike -- Didier Drogba's first season in China hasn't exactly been smooth, but it looks like he'll stick around next year.

Mancini rules City out

Roberto Mancini declared Manchester City's Champions League campaign over after seeing his side held 2-2 by Ajax on a contentious evening at the Etihad Stadium.

Argentina overhaul Portugal

Argentina, on a winning run that has taken them to the top of the nine-nation South American World Cup group, overtake Portugal to move into third place in the latest FIFA rankings.

Porto, Malaga through

Porto and debutants Malaga became the first teams to reach the last 16 of the Champions League when they guaranteed their progress from the group stage with two games to spare on Tuesday.

Hulk's sister freed

Brazilian striker Hulk's sister has been reunited with her family while three suspects have been arrested following a day-long kidnapping saga, police said on Tuesday.

Cole stuck on 99 for a while

Ashley Cole may have to wait several months to win his 100th England cap after being ruled out of Chelsea's Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

'Leave it to Tendulkar'

Former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev feels Sachin Tendulkar is the best person to decide when he would like to retire from international cricket.

Business

In the end, Obama won on the economy

In the end, President Barack Obama won re-election on the issue that was supposed to send him packing: the sluggish US economy.

Obama victory brings hopes for Bangladesh

The reelection of Barack Obama as the US president can enhance the economic and political ties between Dhaka and Washington, economists and experts said yesterday.

FBCCI polls take a new turn as a fresh panel comes in

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry's (FBCCI) biannual election took a new turn with the announcement of a strong panel to contest with the Kazi Akramuddin Ahmed-led panel.

Hasina stresses better trade links with Laos

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday stressed the need for enhancing the two-way trade volume between Bangladesh and Laos by harnessing the countries' untapped resources.

Fiscal cliff: the challenge ahead

US investors hit trading floors last morning with the same president and the same problems in gridlocked Washington. First up: a looming budget crisis that could send the US economy reeling.

BB asks banks to send quarterly reports of internal control

Bangladesh Bank yesterday asked all scheduled banks to assess their respective anti-fraud internal controls and forward reports on a quarterly basis from December.

Solar bottle lights for slumdwellers

A youth-based organisation, CHANGE, yesterday launched an environment-friendly solar bottle lights to create awareness of renewable energy particularly within slumdwellers.

Stock turnover hits three-month low

Stocks declined for the seventh consecutive day, with big investors adopting a wait-and-see policy expecting a long-term bearish trend.

Sarah Ali made honorary consul of Peru

Sarah Ali has recently been appointed the honorary consul of Peru, according to a statement yesterday.

Coca-Cola launches hope campaign

Coca-Cola has recently launched a communication campaign -- Reasons To Believe -- to endorse hope and optimism of a happier tomorrow across Bangladesh.

A call that rings out loud: create jobs

When much of Europe and other parts of the developed world are battered by the five-year-old financial crisis, one call rings out loud: create jobs.

DSE to launch a fresh index by next month

A fresh index will be introduced on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) next month to replace the existing indices, which contain inflated points due to previous faulty computations.

Citi focuses on bringing innovations

US banking giant Citibank, NA aims to bring innovations in liquidity management targeting local and foreign companies in Bangladesh, said a senior official of the bank.

Metropolitan

Dhaka wants strong ties with Laos: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said Bangladesh wants to build a strong partnership with Laos and other Southeast Asian countries to face common challenges of globalisation, world economic meltdown and climate change.

BNP observes November 7

Main opposition BNP yesterday observed, amid elaborate programmes, the "National Revolution and Solidarity Day" marking the civil-military “uprising” that led to release of the then army chief Ziaur Rahman in 1975.

Berlin to give Dhaka climate change fund

Germany will provide 10.97 million euros (equivalent to Tk 111.37 crore) to Bangladesh as climate change fund for cyclone affected people in the coastal areas particularly in Barguna and Patuakhali districts.

Indian FM lauds Bangladesh

India's new External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid lauded strengthening of democratic institutions and practices in Bangladesh and expressed hope that the next general elections would see the democratic process further strengthened in Bangladesh.

Jamaat-Shibir violence condemned

Different organisations yesterday condemned the violent attacks on law enforcers and vandalism carried out by Jamaat-e-Islami and pro-Jamaat student organisation Islami Chhatra Shibir around the country on Monday and Tuesday.

Factory fined for pollution

The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined a dyeing factory of Sadmusa Group in Chittagong Tk 30.75 lakh for polluting the Halda river.

66pc of country's girls get married before 18

Around 66 percent of the girls in Bangladesh get married before they reach 18 years of age, and of them 20 percent become mothers by the time they are 15 years old, UNFPA Representative Arthur Erken said yesterday.

AL, associated bodies plan to resist

The ruling Awami League (AL) and its associated and like-minded bodies decided to take to the streets across the country to resist, what the party leaders said, planned violence by Jamaat-Shibir to hinder the war crimes trial.

Belarusian PM to arrive on Sunday

Dhaka and Minsk are expected to strike around a dozen deals for agricultural and industrial cooperation and expansion of trade and export during Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich's three-day visit to Bangladesh from Sunday.

Decision about proceedings on November 13

International Crimes Tribunal-2 will decide on November 13 whether it will initiate contempt of court proceeding against ruling Awami League leaders Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury and Matia Chowdhury for allegedly disrespecting the tribunal.

Akhtaruzzaman laid to rest

Awami League presidium member and lawmaker from Chittagong-12 Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was laid to eternal rest with full state honour at his family graveyard beside his parent's graves at Hyle Dhor in Anwara upazila of Chittagong after Asr prayers yesterday.

Defence witness 'illegally detained'

A writ petition was filed with the High Court yesterday challenging the legality of alleged detention of Shukho Ranjan Bali, a defence witness of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee.

Four killed in road crashes

Four people were killed and 15 others injured in road accidents in Sirajganj, Habiganj and Chittagong yesterday.

World Town Planning Day today

World Town Planning Day will be observed in the country today as well as 30 other countries across the world aiming to build liveable cities.

Iftekharuzzaman elected into TI board of directors

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman has been elected to the international board of directors of Transparency International (TI), a Berlin-based global civil society coalition against corruption, for three years from this November.

DU 'Gha' unit admission test tomorrow

The admission test of 'Gha' unit for the first year honours courses of Dhaka University (DU) for session 2012-13 will be held tomorrow.

Youth killed as train hits him

An unidentified young man was killed as a train hit him in the capital's Khilkhet area yesterday.

SCC ward councillor re-election suspended

Re-election of Sylhet City Corporation's ward-6 councillor, scheduled to be held today, has been suspended.

Banned items seized in Rajshahi

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) seized banned items worth Tk 1.91 crore from different parts of Rajshahi on Tuesday.

Obituary

SM Morshed Alam, vice president of Khulna city unit of BNP, died of cardiac arrest at Khulna Medical College Hospital on Tuesday. He was 65.

National

Commuters suffer as 38 stations shut down in two years

Railway authorities have shut down offices of 38 stations in the last two years much to the sufferings of commuters in the West Zone.

Monga comes in time but job scheme falls behind

A large number of poor people in the district are passing a tough time due to monga, a near-famine situation that affects the greater Rangpur region during Bangla months of Ashwin and Kartik when farm labourers become jobless in absence of agricultural activities.

10 BNP men hurt in BCL attack in Narsingdi

At least 10 BNP men were injured in an attack allegedly by Bangladesh Chhattra League (BCL) activists in Khanepur area of Palash upazila yesterday.

Steps demanded to stop operation of illegal brick kilns

The Brick Kiln Owners' Association hare formed a human chain in the district town yesterday, demanding steps to stop operation of illegal brick fields.

UP chairman lands in jail in fraud case

Shaheenur Rahman Hamid alias Shaheen, chairman of Roykali union parishad in Akkelpur upazila of the district, was sent to jail on Tuesday afternoon following his arrest in a fraud case.

College girl injured as stalker throws acid

A college girl sustained burn injuries as a stalker threw acid on her in Nandail upazila of the district on Tuesday.

Night guard of Narsingdi school murdered

A night guard of a school was killed allegedly by robbers at Shagardi in Monohardi upazila yesterday.

Bus workers block road protesting attack on leader

District Bus Sramik Union yesterday blocked Lalmonirhat- Burimari highway for three hours, protesting attack on its publicity secretary allegedly by a local Awami League leader.

Woman FF assaulted allegedly to grab land

Freedom fighter Bhanu Nessa was physically assaulted by a gang at her house at Nandanpur village in Santhia upazila on Tuesday night.

Outlaw held with arms

The Detective Branch of police arrested a member of an outlawed party along with firearms from Balughata Primary School area of Ataikula on Tuesday night.

3 electrocuted in Tangail

Three people were electrocuted in Sadar upazila yesterday.

Shops gutted in Galachipa

At least four business establishments gutted and two others damaged at Natunbazar in Galachipa upazila town early Tuesday. Police and locals said, at about 1am, a fire originated from an electrical short circuit at a shop owned by Nurul Islam and spread to a clothe shop, two electrical shops and a grocery. Local people brought the fire under control after two hours of hectic struggle as there was no fire station in the upazila town. The shop owners claimed that the fire damaged property worth Tk one crore.

20 hurt in Natore clash

At least 20 people were injured in a clash between two rival groups over damaging of paddy field by ducks at Ekdiltola village in Singra upazila yesterday. Of the injured, 12 were rushed to Singra upazila health complex and others took first aid in local hospitals and clinics. Police and locals said a brawl ensued between Tafser Ali and his neighbour, Delwar Hossain, as ducks of Tafser started eating paddy of a field of Delwar in the morning. At one stage, supporters of both of them equipped with lethal weapons including sticks locked in a clash, leaving at least 20 people injured from both sides.

New courses at AHC

Four new subjects have been introduced in master's courses at Government Azizul Haque College (AHC) in the district. The subjects are Marketing, Finance and Banking, Islamic Studies and Social Work, said college sources. With this, the college now has 23 subjects in master's course. Earlier, the college started honours courses under the academic session 2005-2006. Around 1000 students, who completed honours in the subjects, demanded opening master's courses at the college. Principal Dip Kendra Nath said under the academic session 2012-13, admission process for masters in the subjects would be started soon.

Fake Indian notes seized

Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) seized counterfeit Indian currencies worth 2.8 lakh from Shingnagar frontier village of Shibganj upazila yesterday. Acting on a tip-off, a BGB team of Shinganagar Border Observation post challenged a gang at Shinganagar frontier in the morning and later seized 2,80,000 fake Indian currencies from an abandoned bag, said BGB sources. The suspected smugglers, however, managed to flee.

International

Govt mulling resettlement as int'l pressure grows

Amid international pressure, Myanmar yesterday said it is working to resettle tens of thousands of people displaced by communal bloodshed in western Rakhine state as soon as possible, officials said Tuesday.

Syria rebels shell key pro-Assad area

Syrian rebels shelled a key area of Damascus home to President Bashar al-Assad's Alawite minority, embassies and government buildings yesterday, as they stepped up attacks on his power base.

Obama to visit Myanmar this month

Newly re-elected US President Barack Obama will visit Yangon later this month, a Myanmar government official said yesterday, in the latest sign of Washington's support for reforms in the former pariah state.

Canada, India clinch nuclear trade deal

Canada and India on Tuesday clinched a deal opening the door to Canadian exports of uranium and other nuclear supplies to the energy-hungry South Asian nation for the first time in nearly four decades.

Communist congress to last 7 days: China

China's ruling Communist Party yesterday said its highly anticipated congress would last for one week, as it signalled Vice President Xi Jinping had moved closer to taking the reins of power.

Ghana mall collapse kills one

A four-storey building housing a department store in Ghana's capital Accra collapsed yesterday, killing at least one person and trapping dozens inside, emergency officials and witnesses said.

World's first solar-powered nation

The remote Pacific islands of Tokelau have become the first territory in the world to generate their electricity entirely from solar energy, in a project hailed as an environmental milestone.

India floods death toll rises to 45

The death toll from floods in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has reached 45, officials said yesterday, amid continuing efforts to provide relief to marooned villagers.

Reality bites for Netanyahu who backed Romney

Israeli President Shimon Peres and other moderate leaders hailed Obama's re-election but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu awoke to a double shock.

Obama to visit Myanmar on Nov 19

Newly re-elected US President Barack Obama will visit Yangon later this month, a Myanmar government official said yesterday, in the latest sign of Washington's support for reforms there.

Huge quake strikes Guatemala coast

A strong 7.4 magnitude quake struck off the Pacific coast of Guatemala, Mexico and El Salvador yesterday, prompting panicked evacuations, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Canada, India clinch nuke deal

Canada and India on Tuesday clinched a deal opening the door to Canadian exports of uranium and other nuclear supplies to the energy-hungry South Asian nation for the first time in nearly four decades.

Libya's ex-leader faces grilling

A Libyan military court yesterday ordered prosecutors to interrogate former transitional leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil over the murder of a general who had commanded rebel forces last year.

Ghana mall collapse kills 3

A six-storey shopping mall collapsed in the Ghanaian capital Accra yesterday, killing at least three people, but a desperate rescue operation had so far pulled out 39 survivors.

Arts & Entertainment

Syed Waliullah: The First Philosopher of Bangladeshi Literature

Bangla Academy organised a discussion in the port city on Tuesday afternoon to observe the 90th birth anniversary of pioneering novelist, short story writer and playwright Syed Waliullah.

Eksho Bosta Chal in Jessore and Kushtia

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and the Japanese Embassy's collaborative production, “Eksho Bosta Chal”, visits Jessore and Kushtia. One show of the play was held yesterday at the Jessore Shilpakala Academy, while another one will take place today at the same venue. Two more shows will be staged in Kushtia Shilpakala Academy on November 9 and 10.

Boat race on Madhumati river

A boat race was held on the river Madhumati, at Jhama Bazar area in Mohammadpur upazila of Magura district, on Monday.

Tamim's world of art

Jalilur Rabbi Tamim, a promising Bangladesh painter, recently received an invitation from The Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris. He stayed there for three months and did several paintings. His solo exhibition was held at the gallery of the Cite Internationale des Arts.

Barack Obama: “I think I can do” Gangnam Style

The virus known as "Gangnam Style" has spread all the way to the Oval Office.

Keno Megher Chhaya Familiar songs, fresh sound

As I'm about to write this review, the sky is overcast with promises of rain [not that there's been any dearth of it over the last couple of days]. Writing about an album, titled “Keno Megher Chhaya”, seems apt.

OP-ED

Obama returns

Four years after America created history by electing the first African-American president, in 2012 its people by a majority, albeit extremely slight, chose to re-elect Barack Obama, and give him another four years, to build on what, as President Obama said in his victory speech, has been achieved in the last four. Implied in the statement is the admission that not everything promised before the 2008 election has been fulfilled. But American voters are also aware of the fact that much of what Obama and his party failed to accomplish was the result of the Republican tactics of blocking Democrat proposals in the House.

How Obama scored where Romney missed

The US elections have ended with the incumbent President Barack Obama returning for a second term. Given that US is perceived to be sole superpower of the world, there has been much interest around the world on who gets to be the leader of the free world for the next four years. While the outcome was not unexpected, the intensity of competition picked up after the first debate which put Obama on the defensive as Romney gained some lost ground.

President Obama's success

President Obama's dramatic re-election victory was not a sign that a fractured nation had finally come together on Election Day. But it was a strong endorsement of economic policies that stress job growth, health care reform, tax increases and balanced deficit reduction -- and of moderate policies on immigration, abortion and same-sex marriage. It was a repudiation of Reagan-era bromides about tax-cutting and trickle-down economics, and of the politics of fear, intolerance and disinformation.

The Obama realignment

When you do it once, it's just a victory. When you do it twice, it's a realignment.

Why Romney's bid fell short

Throughout the election season, President Obama looked vulnerable. The unemployment rate hung above 8%, the White House and Congress had been unable to resolve the nation's looming fiscal crisis, and the nation seemed weary of big government proposals such as the Obama-backed health care law and stimulus spending.



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