India goes on security alert weeks before Obama trip

NEW DELHI - India has put security agencies on nationwide alert for a militant strike in the lead-up to a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama next month, citing an assault on a Pakistani school this week as a warning signal.

Cabinet clears bill for nationwide sales tax 17 Dec 2014

NEW DELHI - India's cabinet approved a constitutional amendment bill on Wednesday to rationalise state and central indirect taxes into a harmonised goods and services tax (GST), a government official told reporters.

A passenger stands outside the SpiceJet Airlines ticket counter at the domestic airport on the outskirts of Agartala, November 26, 2012. REUTERS/Jayanta Dey/Files

SpiceJet parent says no cash for a bail-out

The parent company behind SpiceJet Ltd said it could not afford to spend what could be hundreds of millions of dollars to rescue the beleaguered airline, raising questions over its future. SpiceJet was granted a reprieve after the government asked suppliers to give it more time to pay its bills. But it was still forced to ground its entire fleet on Wednesday after oil firms refused to refuel its planes.  Full Article 

Rescue workers and a family member carry the coffin of a student who was killed during an attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School in Peshawar December 16, 2014. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

Pakistan lifts moratorium on death penalty

The Pakistani prime minister lifted a moratorium on the death penalty, a day after Taliban gunmen attacked a school, killing 132 students and nine teachers, a government spokesman said.  Full Article | Analysis  

A woman celebrates with people riding in a car and holding posters of the "Cuban Five" in Havana December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
U.S.-Cuba Ties

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 

The Blackberry sign is pictured in Waterloo June 19, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/Files

BlackBerry launches long-awaited 'Classic'

BlackBerry Ltd launched its long-awaited Classic on Wednesday, a smartphone it hopes will help it win back market share and woo those still using older versions of its physical keyboard devices.  Full Article 

Raheem Sterling of Liverpool shoots past Baily Cargill of Bournemouth during their English League Cup quarter-final soccer match at Goldsands Stadium in Bournemouth, southwest England, December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Sterling shines as Liverpool beat Bournemouth

Liverpool's Raheem Sterling netted a sharply-taken double in a 3-1 win over Bournemouth on Wednesday to set up a League Cup semi-final with Chelsea as Tottenham Hotspur strolled into the last four with a 4-0 rout of Newcastle United.  Full Article 

A New York City Police Department (NYPD) vehicle drives by the Sunshine Cinema in New York December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Sony studio pulls release of 'The Interview'

A U.S. government source said investigators had determined that 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

Safety Measures

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