Nifty, Sensex surge nearly 2 percent, gain most in over three months 4:51pm IST

MUMBAI - The BSE Sensex and Nifty Indian shares surged nearly 2 percent on Thursday, posting their biggest daily gain in over three months, on hopes foreign buying would continue as country can better weather any Fed-related volatility due to improving fundamentals.

U.S. to press India on trade row during Modi's Washington visit

U.S. to press India on trade row during PM visit

The United States said on Wednesday it will press Prime Minister Narendra Modi to end his blockage of a global trade pact when he visits Washington this month, something that could dampen the mood of a trip aimed at revitalizing strategic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal said India "does itself a discredit" by blocking the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).  Full Article 

PSLV C25 launched the Mars orbiter into an orbit of 250 km X 23,550 km around Earth on 5th November, 2013/ISRO
India's Mars Voyage

Mars mission enters last lap; crucial test coming

India's first mission to Mars will attempt to put a spacecraft in orbit around the red planet next week, in a crucial test of a low-cost project carrying the country's hopes to join the leaders of a global space race. Launched last November, Mangalyaan aims to study the planet's surface and mineral composition, and scan its atmosphere for methane, a chemical tied to life on Earth.  Full Article | Graphic 

An Aafia Siddiqui supporter carries silk roses next to a poster during a celebration to mark Siddiqui's 41st birthday in Karachi March 2, 2014. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/Files
Fight Against Terror

Al Qaeda-linked woman to drop legal appeal

A Pakistan-born neuroscientist has become a rallying cry for militant groups demanding her release from a U.S. prison. But in a little-noticed move she is trying to abandon her legal fight for freedom, saying the U.S. court system is unjust. Islamic militants in Syria, Algeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan have made Aafia Siddiqui's release a condition for freeing certain foreign hostages.  Full Article 

A military policeman walks past trunks of trees recently cut illegally from the Amazon rainforest, inside Jamanxim National Park near the city of Novo Progresso, Para state, June 21, 2013. REUTERS/Nacho Doce/Files
Environment

Green aid test for U.N. climate summit

A U.N. summit on climate change next week will test rich nations' willingness to fill a near-empty fund to help the poor, but pledges are likely to be far short of developing nations' hopes for $15 billion in 2014. Emerging nations say that cash for the Green Climate Fund, meant to help the poor with projects to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions, is vital to combat global warming.  Full Article 

Actress Sophia Loren, guest of honor, poses during a photocall for the film La voce umana presented as part of Cannes Classics at in competition at the 67th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes May 21, 2014. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/Files

Sophia Loren turns 80 with book of memoirs

Sophia Loren, Italy's national cinema icon and eternal diva, turns 80 this week and is marking the milestone with a book of memoirs revealing details of her rags-to-riches life.  Full Article 

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Scottish Referendum

ENVIRONMENT

Give the public a role in Clean Ganga project, says Rajendra Pachauri

Give public a role in cleaning Ganga: Pachauri

India’s holiest river is due for a clean-up, with PM Narendra Modi taking personal responsibility for restoring the Ganga and ridding the river of industrial effluents and untreated sewage. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, spoke to Reuters on the Ganga project, need for transparency and how the public could help.  Read 

INDIA INSIGHT

Director Danis Tanovic gestures during a photocall to promote the movie "Epizoda u Zivotu Beraca Zeljeza" (An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker) at the 63rd Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 13, 2013.  REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz/FIles

Hashmi is a “calm, decent guy”: Tanovic

When Danis Tanovic chose Bollywood star Emraan Hashmi to play a Pakistani whistle-blower in his new project, the Oscar-winning Bosnian film-maker wasn’t aware of the actor’s notoriety as Indian cinema’s “serial kisser”. Tanovic eventually watched some of Hashmi’s Bollywood hits and found it funny that the actor had such a different image in India.  Article 

C. Uday Bhaskar

China’s WMD cooperation with Pakistan looms over Xi-Modi talks

Over the last few decades, there is a strongly held view in New Delhi that while espousing peaceful relations, Beijing has assiduously sought to ‘contain’ India by entering into a deep and covert strategic relationship with Pakistan. Thus, it was encouraging to note that on eve of Xi’s visit to India, a Beijing official tried to assuage Indian anxieties.  Read 

Rape myths hide crimes. Just ask these children.

Rape myths hide crimes. Just ask these children.

"Hidden in Plain Sight" is an aptly titled new study by the United Nations International Children’s Fund. It shows that one in 10 girls and young women interviewed reported being sexually abused before age 20. “These are uncomfortable facts,” one UNICEF official said of the report, the largest study on global child abuse to date. “No government or parent will want to see them.”  Commentary 

ECB’s trillion-euro race may start slowly

ECB’s trillion-euro race may start slowly

The latest parlour game in financial markets is guessing the size of the ECB’s upcoming four-year targeted long-term liquidity operations: how many banks will tap the ECB, for how much? Mario Draghi’s stated goal is to grow the ECB balance sheet back to its 2012 level. If banks’ enthusiasm for the first facility is subdued, markets may react by pushing up the euro.   Full Article 

China has not one property problem

China has not one property problem, but many

China’s real estate market is big enough that it can have not one property problem but many. A Breakingviews ranking of the forty biggest cities, according to different kinds of risks, shows there are huge differences between local markets. It’s not much consolation, though. A conflagration of regional problems could be just as bad as one big national one.   Full Article 

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