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2012

A marauding Sushil flips Kazakhstan’s A. Tanatarov in the semis. A food poisoning scare limited him in the final. “I wanted the national anthem to be heard on the Olympic stage again. I’m sorry I fell short.” Sushil Kumar, London Olympics 66kg Freestyle silver medallist

Manvender/PTI

Phelps in 200m individual medley heats at the London Olympics. After a slow start, he finished with four golds, two silvers. “I was able to really put the final cherry on top tonight...I was able to top off the sundae.” Michael Phelps, Olympic swimming legend, 18 golds over three Games

Francois Xavier Marit/AFP (From Outlook 14 January 2013)

Hard-grounded Palestinian gunmen drag the body of a suspected informer in Gaza City “They should have been killed in a more brutal fashion so others don’t think of working for the occupiers (Israel).” Ashraf Maher, a bystander, quoted in the Guardian

Mohammad Salem/Reuters

Coverage blues A protester of Ukrainian feminist group Femen is held in Brussels. “The bare breast, which would normally objectify women, becomes a weapon for Femen.” Alice Schwarzer, editor of German feminist magazine Emma, quoted in Der Spiegel

Georges Gobet/AFP (From Outlook 14 January 2013)

Speaking flames Jamphel Yeshi, a Tibetan exile, died after setting himself ablaze in Delhi during Chinese president Hu Jintao’s March visit to India. “This is violence. The energy that causes someone to do this to himself is close to the energy that enables someone to kill.” Dalai Lama, Tibetan spiritual leader, on self-immolations

Manish Swarup/AP

Seen, touched US President Barack Obama meets Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon during a November visit to encourage political reforms in Myanmar. “When success is in sight, we have to be careful that we aren’t lured by a mirage of success, that we’re working towards real success for our people.” Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar opposition leader

Jewel Samad/AFP (From Outlook 14 January 2013)

Putin quotes Kipling to protesters in an unsettling pre-election televised Q&A “People should understood who it is they are voting to power.... Come to me, my Bandar-log.” Vladimir Putin, Russian President

Ria Novosti/AFP (From Outlook 14 January 2013)

Keeping low Love marriages, cellphones and uncovered heads were decreed out-of-bounds for the women of Asara village in Baghpat district, UP, by their khap panchayat in July “It’s sad to see how such archaic mindsets exist even in today’s modern society. And that they are forced upon the women.” Madhu Garg, All India Democratic Women’s Association

Jitender Gupta

An unsteady footing Much like this human pyramid, protesters against the Koodankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu hope plans for India’s largest nuclear project fall through “The world over, governments are moving away from nuclear power. Why is our government so bent upon having N-plants?” S.P. Udayakumar, Convenor, PMANE

Adnan Abidi/Reuters (From Outlook 14 January 2013)

Naysayers The issue of FDI in multi-brand retail roiled the nation in protests and threw Parliament out of gear. Samajwadi Party workers stop a train in Allahabad during a ‘Bharat bandh’ called by the opposition. “With FDI there will be investment, farm produce will go up. If we see it’s against national interest, we’ll set fire to the stores.” Laloo Prasad Yadav, RJD president

PTI

Hate crush It’s a train from Bangalore, their place of work. Terror-stuck Northeastern people rush out in Guwahati station. “We RSS members are trying to build confidence in Northeasterners. We tell them we’re all brothers, they need not worry.” Karunakaira Rai RSS representative in Bangalore

Anupam Nath/AP

Growth figure This too is a picture of modern India. Health workers weigh a severely malnourished two-year-old Rajni at the Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre in Shivpuri district, Madhya Pradesh “What concerns me is that 42 per cent of our children are still underweight—an unacceptably high occurence. It’s a national shame.” Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister

Adnan Abidi/Reuters (From Outlook 14 January 2013)

Anger Spills Soaked to the bone, protesters cower in the face of police water cannons near Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi. Triggered by the gangrape of a 23-year-old student on December 16, they were among thousands demanding better safety for women. “When I see the emotional outbursts on the streets on TV... it’s hard to digest this is my sister they are talking about.” Brother of the Delhi gangrape victim

Raveendran/AFP (From Outlook 14 January 2013)

Police charging a student during a protest to demand justice for the gang rape victim at Vijay chowk in New Delhi.

PTI Photo

This should not surprise anyone. The most trending person on Google in India during 2012 was Canadian-born porn-star and now Bollywood actress Sunny Leone, according to the Google Zeitgeist report for 2012. Rajesh Khanna, Poonam Pandey, Alia Bhatt, Nirmal Baba, Sherlyn Chopra, Yash Chopra, Saif Ali Khan, Diana Penty and Vilasrao Deshmukh were others on the list -- in that order. Well, we it seems are like that only

Publicity still released for Jism 2

The hospital tag on a newborn child shows that he was born on 12/12/12, at 12:12 p.m. at a government hospital in Hyderabad.

AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.

Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria jumps from a capsule during the final manned flight for Red Bull Stratos. In a giant leap from more than 24 miles up, Baumgartner shattered the sound barrier Sunday while making the highest jump ever -- a tumbling, death-defying plunge from a balloon to a safe landing in the New Mexico desert.

AP Photo/ Red Bull Stratos

WHAT
The ancient calendar, dating back to 5th century BC, predicted’ the end of the world in 2012.
WHY
Doomsayers spent a good part of the last couple of years predicting the end of the world in 2012. So much so that it even spawned the Hollywood flick 2012. It now looks like they’ll just have to eat their words: experts are ushering in the new year rubbishing any claims that Mayan calendars ever spelt doom. At best, the year signals the end of the Mayan calendar, which will be replaced by a new one. That’s right, apocalypse stands cancelled, for now.

Darryl Humenny and Stephanie Peterson hold their twin babies, Beckett and Freya, in the Birth Center in Hennepin County Medical Center. The twins were born hours apart, one on December 31, 2011 and the other on January 1, 2012.

AP Photo/ Richard Sennott/Star Tribune

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture of Anna Hazare and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with a message "Hope for the Best" at Puri beach of Odisha.

PTI Photo