A Border Security Force (BSF) soldier patrols near the fenced border with Pakistan in Suchetgarh, southwest of Jammu January 11, 2013. REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta/Files

India approves $2.6 billion mounted gun purchase

India approved on Saturday the purchase of 814 mounted gun systems for the army at a cost of 157.5 billion rupees ($2.55 billion), a defence ministry spokesman said.  Full Article 

Magnitude 6.8 quake hits central Japan; no tsunami warning 8:03am IST

TOKYO - An earthquake with preliminary magnitude of 6.8 jolted central Japan on Saturday evening, temporarily trapping 21 people when their homes collapsed and leaving 13 people injured, police and public broadcaster NHK said.

U.S. President Barack Obama and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi end their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files
India-U.S. Ties

Obama to be Republic Day parade chief guest

U.S. President Barack Obama will attend India's Republic Day celebrations in January as chief guest, a sign of steadily expanding ties between two countries that share concerns about China's growing power in Asia. Modi used a Twitter message to announce Obama as the chief guest on Republic Day, which marks the enactment of India's constitution on Jan. 26, 1950.  Full Article 

A worker tends to yarn-spinning equipment at a factory in Ahmedabad November 19, 2014. REUTERS/Amit Dave

Long "to do" list for PM as clock ticks on reform

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a long list of pro-growth measures to implement over the next four months, but time may have already run out to breathe enough life into the economy to meet the tough 2014/15 fiscal deficit target without cuts. Modi's election victory in May unleashed a rush of money from foreign portfolios betting the reformist prime minister would drive a quick recovery.   Full Article 

An employee shows gold bangles to a customer at  jewellery showroom on the occasion of Dhanteras, a Hindu festival associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, at a market in Mumbai November 1, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

RBI cautious on response to gold import surge

The Reserve Bank of India, grabbling with a surge in gold imports last month, could support some restrictions for trading houses but two senior policymakers involved in the bank's decision-making said officials were also wary of overreacting. India, the world's second-largest gold consumer over the past year, is wrestling with its response to a fourfold jump in gold imports in October.  Full Article 

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates his second goal with teammates during their Spanish first division soccer match against Sevilla at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona November 22, 2014. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

Messi sets La Liga record of 253 goals

Barcelona's Lionel Messi set a La Liga record of 253 goals when he grabbed a hat-trick in Saturday's 5-1 win at home to Sevilla, the latest milestone for the four-times World Player of the Year.  Full Article 

"Happy Ending" is old wine in an older bottle
Movie Review

"Happy Ending" is old wine in an older bottle

The directors of "Happy Ending" start off by mocking conventional romantic stories, but by the end of the film, they have had the infamous airport proposal, the road trip that helps the bond between two characters, and even the dream sequence songs. Old wine in an even older bottle. The only happy ending here is when you walk out of the theatre, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Review | More from Bollywood 

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Bulgari Chief Executive Officer Jean-Christophe Babin points at a photographer during the Bulgari 130th anniversary party in Tokyo May 29, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/Files

Bulgari CEO: we shouldn’t have left India so we’re back

Bulgari should never have left India three years ago, so it’s coming back, the chief executive of the Italian luxury jewellery and accessories company said in an interview. According to a survey, India’s luxury market is around $14 bln. Experts say India is the fastest-growing market for luxury goods, expected to grow higher than China in the next four years.  Interview 

How to get India’s exports back on track

How to get India’s exports back on track

The contraction of exports by 5 percent in October will pull down industrial growth and bloat current account deficit. The fall in exports may not be due to a chance fluctuation but a warning of things to come. There are strong reasons to suggest India’s export woes are due to worldwide trends which need to be understood so that the country can benefit from them.  Full Article 

Tribal fighters take part in a military training to prepare for fighting against Islamic State militants, at the Ain al-Assad military base in Anbar province November 15, 2014.  REUTERS/Stringer

Seven unlikely events in the fight against Islamic State, and their likely outcomes

When assessing events on the ground — particularly in dynamic situations like Iraq and Syria — it is devilishly difficult to determine if and when a game-changing event will occur. We’ve identified five black swans — high-impact but low-probability events that could alter the course of the conflict.   Commentary 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2nd R) attends a reception with members of German carnival societies at the Chancellery in Berlin February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Files

And the world’s favorite country is … Germany?

Germany, it appears, is the most respected country in the world. According to the Nation Brands Index, Germany deposed the hitherto reigning champion, the Unites States. I’m amazed the U.S. was number one up until now. Anti-Americanism is rampant and I would have guessed that Switzerland or Sweden or some other rich but harmless country would top the list instead.  Commentary 

Predicting future of consumption