Photo taken from ISRO's official website.

ISRO tests its heaviest space launch vehicle

India's space agency successfully tested on Thursday its most powerful satellite launch vehicle that can put heavier payloads into space, and, it hopes, win India a bigger slice of the $300 billion global space industry. Once operational, the GSLV Mark III will be able to put satellites weighing about 4 tonnes into orbit.  Full Article 

Markets rally after Fed meeting; rupee gains 11:08am IST

MUMBAI - Indian markets rallied on Thursday, with the rupee rebounding from a 13-month low hit in the previous session, after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would take a "patient" approach in deciding when to raise interest rates.

People cheer for the "Cuban Five" while holding a poster of the five Cuban intelligent agents, in Havana December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
Diplomacy

U.S., Cuba restore ties after 50 years

The United States and Cuba agreed on Wednesday to restore diplomatic ties that Washington severed more than 50 years ago, and President Barack Obama called for an end to the long economic embargo against its old Cold War enemy.  Full Article | Related Story 

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Global Economy

U.S. Fed opens door wider to rate hike

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday offered a strong signal that it was on track to raise interest rates sometime next year, altering a pledge to keep rates near zero for a "considerable time" in a show of confidence in the U.S. economy. Closing out a two-day meeting, the U.S. central bank said it would take a "patient" approach in deciding when to bump borrowing costs higher.  Full Article 

Screenshot taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLSsdI_FJKc
India's First

Rape survivor turns "superhero" in digital comic

A new comic about a rape survivor who becomes a "superhero" to fight sex crimes aims to spread the message of gender equality by targeting India's tech-savvy teens with the help of an interactive app which brings its characters to life. Inspired by Hindu mythology, the comic tells the story of Priya, a young rural woman who is gang-raped and consequently shunned by her family and community.  Full Article 

A Minute With: Rajkumar Hirani

A Minute With: Rajkumar Hirani

From dealing with the relevance of Gandhism to the state of India’s education system, filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani has managed to turn social themes into blockbuster movies. In an interview to India Insight, Hirani spoke about making films based on social issues, why he says his writers are paid well, and the Sanjay Dutt biopic he is working on – almost everything but his upcoming film “PK”.   Full Article 

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: An umpire holds a cricket ball in this file photo. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte/Files

Hazlewood takes five as Australia fight back

Australia reached to 221 for four at the close of play on the second day of the second test against India on Thursday after battling their way back into the contest on the back of debutant paceman Josh Hazlewood's five for 68.  Full Article | Related Story 

A security guard stands at the entrance of United Artists theater during the premiere of the film "The Interview" in Los Angeles, California December 11, 2014.  REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian

Sony Pictures pulls release of 'The Interview'

A U.S. government source said investigators had determined North Korea was behind a cyberattack on Sony Pictures as the studio pulled all plans to release its comedy, "The Interview," about an assassination attempt on the North Korean leader.  Full Article 

Latest Headlines

Views and Expert Opinion with Sankalp Phartiyal
    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 

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