A pedestrian walks past television screens displaying a news program about Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, who was held hostage by Islamic State militants, on a street in Tokyo February 1, 2015.  REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Islamic State says beheads second Japanese hostage

Islamic State militants said they had beheaded a second Japanese hostage, journalist Kenji Goto, prompting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to vow to step up humanitarian aid to the group's opponents in the Middle East and help bring his killers to justice.  Full Article | Video 

Ukraine peace talks collapse, Kiev and separatists trade blame 8:05am IST

MINSK/KIEV - Peace talks on Ukraine collapsed on Saturday after just over four hours with no tangible progress towards a new ceasefire but with Ukraine's representative and separatist envoys angrily accusing each other of sabotaging the meeting.

A broker monitors share prices while trading at a brokerage firm in Mumbai August 22, 2013. The Indian rupee fell past 65 to the dollar to a record low on Thursday, after Federal Reserve minutes hinted that the U.S. was on course to begin tapering stimulus as early as next month and as foreign investors become sellers of Indian stocks. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS) - RTX12T35

Caution advised in a trader’s market

I would advise caution for investors as it continues to remain a trader’s market. Corrections as well as bounce-backs could be steep. International developments would keep pressure on markets but the government will continue to provide goodies to balance it, writes Ambareesh Baliga.  Full Article 

Employees assemble electronic components along a production line at a factory in Hefei, Anhui province, January 18, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

China's factory sector unexpectedly shrinks

Activity in China's factory sector contracted in January for the first time in more than two years, an official survey showed, a far worse result than expected that will add to worries about the country's choppy economic outlook this year.  Full Article 

A man pulls a hand-drawn cart in front of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) building in Mumbai January 24, 2012. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

RBI seen holding rates steady - Reuters Poll

The Reserve Bank of India, having cut interest rates on Jan. 15, is likely to keep them steady at a policy review next week, according to economists in a Reuters poll who said future moves could depend on the government's annual budget.  Full Article 

Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi talks to journalists before a meeting of OPEC oil ministers at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna November 27, 2014. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader/Files

Crisis veteran stays to hold line on Saudi policy

The new Saudi king's decision to keep Ali al-Naimi in his job as oil minister signalled to energy markets that the world's top crude exporter would not flinch from its policy of refusing to cut output as it fiercely guards market share.  Full Article 

Members of the Royal Thai Army take part in a military parade in Nakornnayok September 29, 2014. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/Files
Asia

In red areas, Thai army keeps a lid on dissent

Since seizing power and declaring martial law, the Thai military has snuffed out dissent by restricting public gatherings and closing partisan media. Acutely aware of Thaksin Shinawatra's rural support base, the army has kept a keen eye on the provinces in the north and northeast of the country.  Full Article 

 Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, poses at the premiere of ''Sparkle'' in Hollywood, California August 16, 2012. Reuters/Fred Prouser/Files

Whitney Houston's daughter revived

Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late pop star Whitney Houston, was found unresponsive in a bathtub at her Georgia home, but she was revived and rushed to a hospital, police said.  Full Article 

Latest Headlines

Bowlers put pressure on team India, batting holds key in World Cup

Bowlers put pressure on team India, batting holds key in World Cup

The India cricket team’s opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has spent more time in the dressing room than the crease lately. The extended poor form of the left-hander, who saw a dream run with his batting back in 2013, is one of the major concerns as India embarks on a journey to defend their cricket world cup title.  Full Article 

D H Pai Panandiker

Why the RBI’s 25 bps rate cut was too little

The 25 bps reduction is not a motivating force and will not revive industrial growth. What is relevant, however, is the change in the RBI’s thinking. If inflation weakens further, more rate cuts will follow. Had the January rate cut been significant, it would have revived India’s stagnant industries. Therefore, the RBI should cut the repo rate by at least 50 bps on Feb.3.  Full Article 

Girish Vanvari

Budget 2015: How reforms can help Modi’s “Make in India” campaign

The government’s “Make in India” initiative is being closely followed by Indian companies and foreign investors. A lot of hope rests on the BJP government’s first full-year budget following its victory in last year’s general election as the announcements made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will impact the investment cycle.  Full Article 

Life

David Lalmalsawma

India's lone male tenor aims to sing opera in local key

When Anando Mukerjee tells people in India that he's an opera singer, they are intrigued - and impressed. Mukerjee wants to change that. As India's only male tenor performing on the global stage, Mukerjee has made it his mission to demystify opera through live shows, social media and by adapting opera to an Indian context.  Full Article