MUMBAI - The BSE Sensex and the Nifty rose to record highs on Thursday after cabinet approval for a higher foreign direct investment limit in insurance and a rejig in foreign debt limits reinforced optimism about the government's reform agenda.
WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY - The International Monetary Fund on Thursday chopped its 2014 forecast for global economic growth to take into account weakness early in the year in the United States and China, the world's two biggest economies.
A train slammed into a school bus in southern India on Thursday, killing at least 19 children and the driver, police said. The bus crossed a railway track at an unmanned crossing in Telangana without stopping to check if the way was clear, said Indian Railways spokesman Anil Kumar Saxena. Police said the bus was carrying 32 children, 12 of whom died on the spot. Full Article
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) is pulling out of a $1.6 billion deal to buy two Indian hydroelectric power plants because of "a change in strategy", a senior TAQA official told Reuters on Thursday. In March, TAQA said a consortium led by it had agreed to buy the two power plants from Jaiprakash Power Ventures. The consortium was to spend $616 million on equity in the plants. Full Article
Comments by retired Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju had parliament in uproar. In a blog post published by the Times of India, the chairman of Press Council of India hinted at a connection between the government and judiciary in the elevation of an allegedly corrupt judge. This isn’t the first time that the man heading India’s print media oversight body has stirred the pot, writes Shashank Chouhan. Blog
Iraq's parliament elected a senior Kurdish lawmaker president, a significant step in a delayed process to create a government capable of uniting the country and countering insurgents threatenening to march on Baghdad. Article | Purge of minorities re-draws Iraq map
Mexican director Alejandro Inarritu opens this year's Venice film festival with the premiere of "Birdman", a black comedy that heads a 55-strong selection leaning heavily towards war and recession, festival director Alberto Barbera said on Thursday. Full Article
An Air Algerie flight with 110 passengers onboard, nearly half of them French citizens, crashed on Thursday after the jet disappeared over northern Mali en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers, an Algerian official said. Full Article
The Ganges is sacred in Hinduism, and Varanasi, which lies on its banks, is one of the oldest and holiest sites for Hindu pilgrims from all over the world. Dying and having your ashes scattered here is a sacred thing for Hindus who believe that it brings “moksha,” or freedom for the soul from the constant cycle of death and rebirth. To attain this salvation, many travel to Varanasi to die Full Article
Although many Egyptians view Hamas as an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, most sympathize with the Palestinians. When they see the scale of casualties - for example, the death and destruction in the Shuja’iah neighborhood in Gaza - they overwhelmingly blame Israel. This is true even as their leaders express anger over Hamas’ refusal to accept ceasefire proposal. Commentary
Although Ronald Reagan's record in raising taxes and adding to the deficit would make him ineligible to become the nominee were he still alive, the contestants of 2016 U.S. presidential race are already comparing themselves with the only Republican president whose conservative credentials are made of the same material as earned him his nickname, the “Teflon president.” Full Article
As India's capital baked in a heat wave, banker Gaurav Gupta sat down for lunch at a new air-conditioned restaurant, to be greeted by a smiling waiter who took his order for a traditional "thali" meal of flatbread, lentils, vegetables and rice. Nothing unusual, except that the employee, like most of his colleagues, is a convicted murderer serving time in Tihar Jail. Full Article
I’ve become pretty great at rocket dodging. As a New Yorker living in Tel Aviv while researching a book, I never thought I’d say that. And yet it’s true: since Hamas began firing rockets into Tel Aviv on July 8, I’ve learned to move quickly. I’m witnessing just a sliver of what it’s like for Israelis trying their best to live a “normal” life in a kind of twilight zone where different rules apply. Commentary
Getting bigger for bigness’s sake makes sense for a sumo wrestler. But does that apply to a media conglomerate? There’s a panic element to the Murdoch offer, too. At the age of 83, how many more deals can he possibly consummate? Of course, that’s what they all said when Murdoch was 73, and had not yet bought the Wall Street Journal for $5 billion. But 83 is not the new 73. Full Article
Amazon.com Inc's new "Fire" smartphone features "gimmicks" - such as 3D effects and object scanner - that may not be enough to entice users away from similarly priced Apple Inc iPhones and Samsung's Galaxy S5, reviewers said. Full Article
A look at some pictures of Indian tennis star Sania Mirza whose world ranking once rose as high as 27th in singles. Slideshow