Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally in Srinagar December 8, 2014.  REUTERS/Danish Ismail

BJP unlikely to form Jammu & Kashmir govt - polls

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will not win enough seats to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir, two exit polls showed on Saturday, dampening its hopes of taking control of the state for the first time.  Full Article 

Putin says Russia won't be intimidated over Crimea 20 Dec 2014

MOSCOW - Russia will not be intimidated over its actions in Ukraine and Crimea, President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday as his foreign ministry warned that it was preparing to retaliate against fresh Western sanctions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C) speaks to the media as Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (L) and Venkaiah Naidu (2nd L), Minister of Urban Development, look on upon arrival on the opening day of the winter session of Parliament in New Delhi November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Economy & Politics

Modi may use ordinance to push reforms

Narendra Modi may consider using an executive order to push through laws overhauling the insurance and coal sectors, if the increasingly fractious parliament fails to pass them soon, two government officials say. Bitter and sometimes sectarian disputes between ruling party and opposition MPs have held up a number of bills scheduled for this session.  Full Article 

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: Australia's Mitchell Johnson gives a thumbs up to supporters at the Adelaide Oval December 9, 2013. REUTERS/David Gray/Files

Magic Johnson inspires Australia to second test

Mitchell Johnson's brilliance with both bat and ball inspired Australia to a four-wicket second test victory over India and an unassailable 2-0 series lead at the Gabba in Brisbane on Saturday.  Full Article 

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) listens as Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks, during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files

India looks to sway U.S. with nuclear insurance

India is offering to set up an insurance pool to indemnify global nuclear suppliers against liability in the case of a nuclear accident, in a bid to unblock billions of dollars in trade held up by concerns over exposure to risk. PM Narendra Modi's govt is hoping the plan will be enough to convince major U.S. companies to enter the Indian market ahead of President Obama's visit at the end of next month.  Full Article 

Actress Priyanka Chopra arrives for the inaugural Times of India Film Awards in Vancouver, British Columbia April 6, 2013. REUTERS/Jimmy Jeong/Files

Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV

Priyanka Chopra might be one of the most sought-after stars in India right now, but she has set her sights far away across the Atlantic. After a single with rapper Pitbull, singing at the NFL, and being signed on by Guess, the 32-year-old actress is all set to star in an American TV series developed by the ABC TV network.  Full Article 

Health workers put on protective gear before entering a quarantine zone at a Red Cross facility in the town of Koidu, Kono district in Eastern Sierra Leone December 19, 2014. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Ebola Crisis

Ebola death toll in 3 African states hits 7,373

The death toll from Ebola in the three worst-affected countries in West Africa has risen to 7,373 among 19,031 cases known to date there, the WHO said on Saturday. The latest data, posted overnight on the WHO website, reflected nearly 500 new deaths from the worst ever outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.  Article 

A man places an Iranian flag on bags of Iranian humanitarian aid at the port of Beirut January 23, 2013. The banner reads, Gift from Iran to our brothers of Syrian and Palestinian refugees. REUTERS/Sharif Karim/Files
Middle East

Iran's support for Syria tested by oil price drop

Syrian businessmen and trade officials say they are worried the economic lifeline provided by Iran is under strain from plunging oil prices, despite public messages of support from Syria's strongest regional ally. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has relied on oil-producing Iran to help him fight insurgents in a nearly four-year-old civil war and also prop up a currency under pressure.  Full Article 

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Online Retail

A SpiceJet passenger plane moves on the runway at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel international airport in Ahmedabad January 8, 2014. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

SpiceJet rescue is no fix for India aviation woes

SpiceJet’s woes are all too familiar. India is cajoling banks to lend to the country’s second largest single-brand carrier when the debt-ridden airline needs more equity. The government’s hope is to save jobs and prevent a repeat of the failure of Kingfisher Airlines. Even if the rescue works, exorbitant fuel taxes and lack of a bankruptcy law will keep the industry stuck in an air pocket.  Full Article 

The logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone.

Uber’s law flouting could bring joyride to a halt

Uber’s law flouting could bring its joyride to a screeching halt. The taxi app company is covering its drivers’ fines for illegally picking up passengers. That may be just another business expense to a firm that earned a $40 billion valuation by moving quickly and breaking the rules. But the legal, lobbying and public relations costs of reckless behavior are accelerating fast.  Full Article 

Mohamad Bazzi

Saudi Arabia is playing chicken with its oil

Saudi Arabia is once again using its “oil weapon”. The kingdom has two targets in its latest oil war: it is trying to squeeze U.S. shale oil - which requires higher prices to remain competitive with conventional production - out of the market. More broadly, the Saudis are also punishing two rivals, Russia and Iran, for their support of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in the Syrian civil war.  Commentary 

Sony Cyber Attack