An employee counts rupee notes at a cash counter inside a bank in Agartala, capital of Tripura December 31, 2010. REUTERS/Jayanta Dey/Files

Fiscal deficit in H1 almost 83 pct of full-year target

India's fiscal deficit reached nearly 83 percent of its full-year target in the first half of the year, giving the government a tough job meeting its budget target even with help from a fall in global crude prices that will reduce the oil subsidy bill.  Full Article 

Govt considers ban on e-cigarettes, sale of single smokes 1:24pm IST

NEW DELHI - The government is considering a ban on electronic cigarettes over the risks to public health that they may cause, a senior Health Ministry official told Reuters.

Panama-flagged cargo ship MV Asphalt Venture arrives at the Kenyan Port of Mombasa April 28, 2011. REUTERS/Joseph Okanga/Files
Maritime Piracy

Somali pirates free Indian sailors after 4 years

Somali pirates have freed seven Indian sailors detained for close to four years in exchange for an undisclosed ransom, Somali officials and a maritime monitoring group said on Friday. The sailors, held since the pirates hijacked the Panama-flagged ship MT Asphalt Venture in September 2010, were freed on Thursday. Eight of their colleagues were freed in April 2011 for a ransom.   Full Article 

A man uses an e-cigarette, an electronic substitute in the form of a rod, slightly longer than a normal cigarette, in this illustration picture taken in Paris, March 5, 2013. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/Files

India mulls ban on e-cigs, sale of single smokes

The government is considering a ban on electronic cigarettes over the risks to public health that they may cause, a senior Health Ministry official said. Such devices use battery-powered cartridges to produce a nicotine-laced vapour but there is a lack of long-term research that confirms they are safe.  Full Article 

An explosion following an air-strike is seen in the Syrian town of Kobani from near the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province October 29, 2014  REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
Islamic State

Kobani strikes pave way for peshmerga forces

U.S.-led air strikes hit Islamic State positions around the Syrian border town of Kobani on Friday in an apparent bid to pave the way for heavily-armed Kurdish peshmerga forces to enter from neighbouring Turkey.  Full Article | Related Story 

A man helps another make his way through deep mud at the site of a landslide at the Koslanda tea plantation near Haldummulla October 30, 2014.  REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
Asia

Rains slow Sri Lankan landslide search

Heavy rains hampered search operations on Friday at the site of a landslide in Sri Lanka where more than 100 people were buried under tons of mud and rubble two days ago.  Full Article 

President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, sits on stage to support a commitment to stop poaching of African elephants at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York September 26, 2013.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Files

Burkina president resigns, army chief takes over

The head of Burkina Faso's armed forces took power on Friday after President Blaise Compaore resigned amid mass demonstrations against an attempt to extend his 27-year rule in the West African country.  Full Article 

A Minute With: Kalki Koechlin

A Minute With: Kalki Koechlin

Kalki Koechlin is one of the few Bollywood actresses in recent years to build her star power while proving her talent in indie and mainstream cinema. Koechlin, 30, who was born in India to French parents, spoke to Reuters about her role as a disabled girl in "Margarita, With a Straw" and spending two months in a wheelchair for the part.  Full Article 

Latest Headlines

Why Israel doesn’t care what Obama thinks, or what officials call Netanyahu

Why Israel doesn’t care what Obama thinks, or what officials call Netanyahu

It is an open secret that the Obama administration is exasperated with the Israeli PM, especially with his disinterest both in making a peace deal with the Palestinians and normalizing relations with Sunni Arab states. Senior aides are also understandably riled by the Israeli government’s confrontational approach toward the administration.  Commentary 

Edward Hadas

Fear no robot overlords. They can become our best friends.

The “konditorei” in Sankt Florian, Austria, offers fine pastries and wonderful hot chocolate. It was the perfect location to interrupt a holiday for a bit of work. Over a slice of strudel, I spent a few minutes last week contemplating my colleague Andy Mukherjee’s well argued article about the danger robots pose for the modern economy. Looking around the bakery-cafe, I saw why Andy should be proven wrong.  Full Article 

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 

Ebola Outbreak

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