A masked Islamic State militant speaks next to a man purported to be U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff at an unknown location in this still image from an undated second video posted on a social media website. REUTERS/SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE VIA REUTERS TV

Islamic State issues video of beheading of U.S. hostage

The Islamic State released a video on Tuesday purporting to show the beheading of American hostage Steven Sotloff, raising the stakes in its confrontation with Washington over U.S. air strikes on its insurgents in Iraq.  Full Article 

Asian shares inch down, dollar on top of the heap 5:57am IST

TOKYO - Asian shares inched lower early on Wednesday after a lacklustre day on Wall Street, while the dollar was close to 14-month highs against a basket of major currencies after data underscored that the U.S. economy's modest expansion continues to chug along.

A bronze bull sculpture is seen as an employee walks out of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai August 22, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

BSE Sensex surges past 27,000 to record high

The Sensex surged past the psychologically key level of 27,000 to a third consecutive record high as blue-chips such as HDFC Bank gained after recent data raised hopes about the economy. The BSE milestone comes a day after the broader Nifty surpassed the 8,000 level for the first time, providing a further psychological lift that has made India the best performer this year in Asian equities.  Full Article 

India's Ajinkya Rahane hits a four during the fourth one-day international cricket match against England at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham, England, September 2, 2014. REUTERS/Philip Brown (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT CRICKET)
Cricket

India crush feeble England to clinch series

Shikhar Dhawan smashed a six to seal a crushing nine-wicket victory over hapless England in the fourth one-day international in Birmingham on Tuesday.  Full Article 

Women ride two-wheeled self-balancing scooters past the Indian Defence Ministry, in New Delhi December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/Files

Segway’s India unit pegs hope on Modi

Among the companies hoping for tax credits from the business-friendly BJP since its election victory in May is the Indian distributor of the Segway Personal Transporter. The company hopes that the government will recognise the battery-run two-wheeler as a green vehicle, a move that could spur sales of the expensive device in a country where many people today cannot afford it.  Full Article 

A resident of West Point neighbourhood, which has been quarantined following an outbreak of Ebola, carries a sack of food rations from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Monrovia August 28, 2014. REUTERS/2Tango

West Africa struggles to contain Ebola

The United Nations said the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa was causing food shortages in one of the world's poorest regions and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned the disease was threatening the stability of stricken countries and their neighbors. Doctors in Liberia were out on strike as they struggled to cope with the worst outbreak of Ebola.  Full Article 

Cast member Jennifer Lawrence poses during a photocall for the film "The Hunger Games : Mockingjay - Part 1" at the 67th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes May 17, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/Files
Celebrity Photo Breach

Apple says its systems not to blame for breach

The week before a crucial launch of its new iPhone, Apple Inc said intimate photos of celebrities including Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence were leaked online through the apparent hacking of individual iCloud accounts. Apple rushed to restore confidence in its systems' security, saying the celebrity photo scandal was the result of targeted attacks on accounts storing personal data.  Full Article 

Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber arrives for amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS 2014 event in Antibes during the 67th Cannes Film Festival May 22, 2014. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Files

Justin Bieber charged with assault in Canada

Pop star Justin Bieber was arrested and charged with assault and dangerous driving over the weekend after an incident near a small Canadian town, police said on Tuesday.  Full Article 

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Political Pulse

A worker repairs a vessel at a ship repair yard in Mumbai May 2, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

Where the growth in Q1 came from

GDP growth of 5.7 percent in the April-June quarter was unexpected in view of the southward drift of India’s economy over the past two years. No wonder it pepped up the government at a time when the ruling coalition is listing its achievements after 100 days in office. The question is where this growth came from and whether it will be sustained in future.  Full Article 

Handout of “Historic Temples in Pakistan: A Call to Conscience”

Reema Abbasi and a glimpse of Pakistan’s Hindu past

“Historic Temples in Pakistan: A Call to Conscience” is a book-length attempt to record in pictures the history of an Islamic country’s Hindu past, especially as extremist activity mounts against Pakistan’s religious and ethnic minorities, including Ahmadis, Christians, Sikhs and Shia Muslims.  Full Article 

Nita Bhalla

The suicide letters that symbolise India’s misguided shame

Shame. It’s a word I often hear when speaking to women in India, where a combination of patriarchy, misogyny and extreme conservatism makes women feel ashamed of the crimes being committed against them. They are ashamed of being sexually harassed, ashamed for being molested and ashamed after suffering a beating.  Full Article 

Andy Mukherjee

Supreme Court order adds urgency to India’s coal crunch

The two-decades-old practice of selectively allocating mines to metal, cement and power producers is illegal, the court ruled. The judges have not yet decided what punishment to hand out. But investors are prepared for the worst, and for good reason: two years ago, the court cancelled the underpriced sale of telecom spectrum, quashing all 122 licenses in one go.  Full Article 

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