Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif walks past his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi (foreground) during the opening session of 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Kathmandu November 26, 2014.  REUTERS/Narendra Shrestha/Pool

India-Pakistan friction threatens South Asia trade

Hostilities between rivals India and Pakistan on Wednesday threatened to scupper efforts by South Asian leaders to boost trade among almost a quarter of the world's people, throwing into doubt any prospect of a regional customs union.  Full Article | Slideshow 

WTO postpones trade deal by a day after last-minute objection 7:17pm IST

GENEVA - The World Trade Organization postponed adoption of the first global trade reform in its 19-year history on Wednesday, delaying by a day after a last-minute objection from Argentina, diplomats said.

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi gestures as he arrives at his hotel ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
Energy

Saudi Arabia signals no push for oil cut

OPEC leader Saudi Arabia signalled on Wednesday it was unlikely to push for a major change in oil output at the producer group's meeting this week, a day after Russia refused to cooperate in any production cut.  Full Article 

Women, who underwent sterilization surgery at a government mass sterilisation camp, pose for pictures inside a hospital at Bilaspur district in Chhattisgarh November 14, 2014.  REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee
India Sterilisation Camps

Targets remain in all but name, critics say

India officially abandoned targets for its mass sterilisation programme in the 1990s, accepting they had put undue pressure on people to undergo surgery and failed to curb population growth sufficiently. Twenty years on and targets remain in all but name, say doctors, healthcare workers and family planning experts.  Full Article 

A policeman walks past a wall with graffiti directed at local media house Geo TV in Karachi May 20, 2014. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/Files

Pak TV mogul gets 26 years' jail for blasphemy

Pakistan's largest media group said on Wednesday it will appeal against a 26-year jail term for its owner, Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman, for blasphemy, the latest twist in a long-running feud between the station and the military.  Article | Gunmen kill four Pakistani polio workers 

Chinese software engineers work on product solutions at the Neusoft Group Ltd headquarters in the northeastern city of Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province May 26, 2004. REUTERS/Claro Cortes/Files
Trade

China to push growth of outsourcing industry

China will develop international outsourcing of high-value-added services to create new advantages in foreign trade, its cabinet said on Wednesday, according to the official government website. The State Council will reduce corporate income taxes to 15 percent in a number of cities to encourage development of the high-tech, high value-added services outsourcing industry.  Full Article 

Police officers hold a line before advancing on protesters during the second night of demonstrations in Oakland, California, following the grand jury decision in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, November 25, 2014.  REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Ferguson Teen Shooting Verdict

Police curb unrest as protests swell across U.S.

Some 2,000 National Guard troops helped ward off a second night of rampant arson and looting in suburban St. Louis after a grand jury declined to indict a white policeman in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager, and sympathy protests spread to several U.S. cities.  Full Article | Pics 

Dmytro Firtash, one of Ukraine's richest men, is seen in Kiev May 18, 2010.  REUTERS/Maks Levin/Files

Putin's allies channelled billions to oligarch

In Russia, powerful friends helped him make a fortune. In the United States, officials want him extradited and put behind bars. In Austria, where he is currently free on bail of $155 million, authorities have yet to decide what to do with him.He is Dmitry Firtash, a former fireman and soldier. In little more than a decade, the Ukrainian went from obscurity to wealth and renown, largely by buying gas from Russia.   Full Article 

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Cracked land is seen at Guarapiranga reservoir, during a drought in Sao Paulo November 21, 2014. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Brazil’s epic water crisis a global wake-up call

One of the world’s biggest cities is running out of water. Sao Paulo, a city of 20 million people, could run dry within weeks. The humanitarian and economic cost would be immense. The fiasco should be a global wake-up call for other metropolises. The immediate cause of the crisis is a year-long drought.  Full Article 

An Israeli police officer gestures as he holds a weapon near the scene of an attack at a Jerusalem synagogue November 18, 2014. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Can you live a moral life in the holy city of Jerusalem?

While you are reading about violent attacks in Jerusalem on the home page of your newspaper, Jerusalemites are living their lives, most of the time, as if they dwelled in a happy little European nation, say Luxembourg or the Netherlands. That’s how you can feel there a lot of the time, if you live on the Israeli side. That is assuming you’re not a crazed extremist of some kind.  Commentary 

Yuan

China monetary policy enters difficult adolescence

China’s economy is in the throes of financial adolescence. If all credit in China still came from banks, a reduction in the benchmark rate set by the People’s Bank of China would benefit most borrowers. In the past few years, however, China has sprouted all kinds of new ways to save and borrow that don’t respond predictably to the central bank’s orders.  Full Article 

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