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PM Modi boots officials out of the first class cabin

NEW DELHI - Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered bureaucrats to forgo the luxury of flying first class and start paying for their spouses' air tickets as he tries to deliver on a promise to cut the fiscal deficit to a seven-year low.

Harley-Davidson woos affluent young Indians with bike culture 10:20pm IST

MUMBAI - Harley-Davidson Inc, battling upstart competitors in its traditional markets, says it is betting on India's young and affluent urbanites to help establish a "leisure riding" culture there and boost sales of its first new bike in over a decade.

Map of Arunachal Pradesh, one of the disputed area between China and India/ Reuters
Indo-China Border Dispute

China irked about plan to build border posts

China's defence ministry on Thursday expressed concern over reports that India plans to build 54 new border posts along their disputed border, long a source of tension between the two giant neighbours. In September, India eased curbs on building roads and military facilities within 100 km of the contested border in Arunachal Pradesh, so as to speed construction of 6,000 km of roads.   Full Article 

Men make phone calls as they sit on a railing with Bharti Airtel billboards installed on it, along a sidewalk in Kolkata February 1, 2013. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

Airtel profit doubles as India market turns corner

Bharti Airtel Ltd reported a more than doubling of quarterly profit, beating street estimates, on higher voice call prices and rapid growth in mobile data usage.  Full Article | Full Coverage 

A Palestinian protester fires a homemade weapon at Israeli security forces during clashes in east Jerusalem October 30, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Clashes erupt in East Jerusalem

Israeli police on Thursday shot dead a 32-year-old Palestinian man suspected of having tried hours earlier to kill a far-right Jewish activist, leading to fierce clashes in East Jerusalem and fears of a new Palestinian uprising.  Full Article 

Apple CEO Tim Cook gestures as he speaks at Tsinghua University in Beijing October 23, 2014.  REUTERS/China Daily
Out Of The Closet

Apple's Tim Cook says "proud to be gay"

Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook publicly came out as gay in an article he wrote in Bloomberg Businessweek. Cook has never previously acknowledged his sexual orientation. "So let me be clear: I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me," Cook said in the article.  Full Article 

A girl reads a book while attending her daily class with others at a government school in Peshawar October 29, 2014.  REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

Pakistan province rewrites text books

A Pakistani province is rewriting school books to make them more Islamic, inserting verses on jihad, removing pictures of unveiled women and changing material on recent history, officials said on Thursday.  Full Article 

Andy Murray of Britain returns a shot during his men's singles tennis match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the third round of the Paris Masters tennis tournament at the Bercy sports hall in Paris, October 30, 2014. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Andy Murray qualifies for Tour Finals

Briton Andy Murray continued his recent resurgence when he qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals by reaching the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters with a 6-3 6-3 win against Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.  Story 

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Public Health

D H Pai Panandiker

If Europe gets into a debt crisis

With the debt crisis building up in Europe, the rupee could possibly go down to the level reached in 2013 due to repatriation of FII investment. That is enough for the stock market to plunge. While the ECB will use all the tools at its disposal to prevent another debt crisis, one thing is almost certain - weakening of the euro currency, which may help Europe but not India.  Read 

Limestone funerary reliefs from Syria are on the International Council of Museums Emergency Red List of cultural objects at risk of looting. REUTERS/ICOM

How the West buys ‘conflict antiquities’ from Iraq and Syria (and funds terror)

“Many antique collectors unwillingly support terrorists like Islamic State, ” Michel van Rijn, one of the most successful smugglers of antique artifacts in the past century, told German broadcaster Das Erste. And smuggling is booming in Iraq and Syria. In Iraq, 4,500 archaeological sites are reportedly controlled by Islamic State.  Commentary 

India, Indonesia take different, but similar coal paths

India, Indonesia take different, but similar coal paths

India, poised to become the world's largest importer of thermal coal, appears to be opening up its domestic mining sector to foreign competition just as Indonesia, its biggest supplier, is making it harder for exporters.  Full Article 

Smoke rises over Syrian town of Kobani after an airstrike, as seen from the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, October 18, 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Sykes-Picot drew lines in Middle East’s sand that blood is washing away

Iraq, like Syria, was a consequence of World War One and of the infamous, in Arab eyes, agreement between Sir Mark Sykes and Francois-Georges Picot which led to the division of the former Ottoman Turkish domains by Britain and France. That agreement appears in tatters, as both countries are broken, exhausted by years of war and sectarian division.  Commentary 

Ebola Outbreak