A farmer harvests partially damaged crop due to lack of rain at Sami village in Gujarat August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood/Files

India likely to see below average to average rains

India and its South Asian neighbours are expected to see below average to average rains this year if the El Nino weather pattern gains strength during the four-month monsoon season, a forum of weather experts said on Wednesday.  Full Article | Full Coverage: Monsoon  

India to make May-July oil payments to Iran - sources 23 Apr 2014

NEW DELHI - India is set to pay Iran $1.65 billion over the next three months under an interim nuclear deal that eases sanctions on Tehran and gives it access to $4.2 billion in blocked funds, four sources with knowledge of the matter said.

U.S. President Barack Obama is welcomed to Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe while in Tokyo, April 23, 2014.  REUTERS/Larry Downing

Obama seeks to ease Asian allies' doubts

President Barack Obama will use a state visit to Japan on Thursday to try to reassure Tokyo and other Asian allies of his commitment to ramping up U.S. engagement in the region, despite Chinese complaints that Washington's real aim is to contain Beijing's rise.  Full Article 

Senior Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmed (L), head of the Hamas government Ismail Haniyeh (C) and senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouq hold their hands after announcing a reconciliation agreement in Gaza City April 23, 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Middle East

Hamas, Abbas's PLO reach unity deal

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact, both sides announced in a joint news conference.  Full Article 

Employees process meat along a production line at a factory of Shuanghui (Shineway) Group in Luohe, Henan province, June 17, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

China factories stalling as euro zone picks up

Chinese factory activity shrank for the fourth straight month in April but private businesses across the euro zone enjoyed their best month in nearly three years, surveys showed on Wednesday. Within the euro zone, Germany - Europe's largest economy - saw activity accelerate whereas in France, the bloc's second biggest, momentum waned.  Full Article 

Manchester United's manager David Moyes looks on during a news conference at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England March 31, 2014. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Moyes thanks Ferguson for ManU opportunity

Sacked Manchester United manager David Moyes thanked his predecessor Alex Ferguson on Wednesday for having given him the opportunity to lead the Premier League club.  Full Article 

Actress Lupita Nyong'o arrives at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, California  April 13, 2014.  REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Lupita Nyong'o People's most beautiful woman

It's been a big year for Lupita Nyong'o. After winning an Oscar and a lucrative advertising deal the actress was named on Wednesday as the world's most beautiful woman for 2014 by People magazine.  Full Article 

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CINEMA

A handoout still from 'The World Before Her'

Guns and Gowns: Two faces of Indian woman

Nisha Pahuja‘s film “The World Before Her” juxtaposes two training camps - one for the Durga Vahini (army of Durga), the women’s unit of the right-wing Vishva Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council), and the other for the Miss India beauty pageant. Pahuja wanted to make a film that would explore a common theme in two worlds that at first look like they are opposites.   Full Article 

Mahamet, a 17-year-old Syrian boy from Azaz, waits for customers in front of the jewellery shop where he works as a translator in Kilis on the Turkish-Syrian border March 18, 2014. REUTERS/Murad Sezer/Files

Election cash restrictions to dent gold imports

India's gold imports in April and May could be less than half of arrivals in March, as restrictions on the movement of cash during general elections dent the buying power of consumers, jewellery industry officials said. Gold arrivals in both April and May could plunge to 20 tonnes, from March imports of 50 tonnes.  Full Article 

Andy Mukherjee

Missing inflation could make Asian bonds frothier

When inflation picks up, so do bond yields, which drives prices of those bonds down. Before the 2008 crisis, consumer prices in Asia were rising at a faster-than-anticipated pace. Investors demanded more compensation for holding paper with fixed-rate returns, and policy-makers raised short-term rates, so yields on sovereign debt surged.  Full Article 

A man looks at a screen across the road displaying the Sensex on the facade of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai February 6, 2014. REUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal/Files

Why IT, pharma stocks are not pariahs

Expectation that the ongoing general election will throw up a stable government has spurred a return to risk in domestic equities. Assuming a strong government is indeed voted in, will it mean the IT and pharma sectors will become market pariahs? Unlikely, writes Mukesh Agarwal of CRISIL.  Full Article 

John Foley

Graft purges don’t hurt shareholders - insiders do

China Resources chairman Song Lin has been sacked for disciplinary violations, leaving an empire with $150 billion in assets leaderless. Though China’s state-company bosses will quake in their loafers, the damage to investors looks manageable. The real problem is a wider culture that treats outside shareholders as an afterthought.  Full Article