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Wipro Q1 profit up 29.6 pct, slightly lags estimates

BANGALORE/MUMBAI - India's third-biggest IT services exporter Wipro posted a 29.6 percent rise in quarterly profit, slightly lagging estimates, on the back of higher spending by overseas clients.

BSE Sensex, Nifty hit record highs, insurers gain 4:59pm IST

MUMBAI - The benchmark BSE Sensex and the broader Nifty rose to record highs on Thursday after cabinet approval for a higher foreign direct investment limit in insurance and a rejig in foreign debt limits reinforced optimism about the government's reform agenda.

An employee works on electric pylons at a power station in Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi June 8, 2012. REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma/Files
Power

TAQA pulls out of $1.6 billion India power deal

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) is pulling out of a $1.6 billion deal to buy two Indian hydroelectric power plants because of "a change in strategy", a senior TAQA official told Reuters on Thursday. In March, TAQA said a consortium led by it had agreed to buy the two power plants from Jaiprakash Power Ventures. The consortium was to spend $616 million on equity in the plants.  Full Article 

Fishermen sit in a trawler navigating past containers stalked on a ship at a port in Vallarpadam in Kochi December 11, 2013. REUTERS/Sivaram V/Files
Global Economy

Weak export demand to hit Asia - Reuters poll

The outlook for emerging Asia has dimmed further this year on weak demand for exports, although growth in India is expected to accelerate into 2015 even as China is held back in part by a slowing property market, Reuters polls showed.  Full Article 

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj poses inside her office in New Delhi May 28, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer/Files
Indo-Nepal Ties

India bids to reassert influence in Nepal

India is set to offer Nepal a landmark pact to help develop its huge hydro-electric power potential as the South Asian giant takes another step to re-assert influence among smaller neighbours where China has been forging closer ties. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj heads to Kathmandu on Friday to prepare the way for PM Narendra Modi's August visit, the first by an Indian PM in 17 years.  Full Article 

A Palestinian woman sits in a debris-strewn street as she looks at houses which witnesses said were damaged in an Israeli air strike that killed two children, in the northern Gaza Strip July 24, 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Gaza Conflict

U.S. OKs flights to Israel as Gaza toll tops 700

Israel won a partial reprieve from the economic pain of its Gaza war on Thursday with the lifting of a U.S. ban on commercial flights to Tel Aviv, as fighting pushed the Palestinian death toll over 700.  Full Article 

A security officer keeps an eye on the tracks of Lhasa Liuwu Railway Station in Tibet Autonomous Region July 4, 2006. REUTERS/Carlos Cortes/Files
Asia

China plans railway to India border by 2020

China plans to extend a railway line linking Tibet with the rest of the country to the borders of India, Nepal and Bhutan by 2020 once an extension to a key site in Tibetan Buddhism opens, a state-run newspaper reported on Thursday.  Full Article 

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook (L) and China Mobile's Chairman Xi Guohua are silhouetted in front of an advertisement board of the iPhone 5s and C at an event celebrating the launch of Apple's iPhone on China Mobile's network at a China Mobile shop in Beijing January 17, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Files

In China, Apple surges as Samsung falters

Apple Inc's latest quarterly results showed sales of its high-end phones in China grew at nearly twice the pace analysts had expected. Meanwhile, budget offerings from Chinese firms won at the cheaper end, effectively squeezing industry leader Samsung.   Full Article 

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Pharma

Danish Siddiqui

Waiting to die in Varanasi

The Ganges is sacred in Hinduism, and Varanasi, which lies on its banks, is one of the oldest and holiest sites for Hindu pilgrims from all over the world. Dying and having your ashes scattered here is a sacred thing for Hindus who believe that it brings “moksha,” or freedom for the soul from the constant cycle of death and rebirth. To attain this salvation, many travel to Varanasi to die  Full Article 

The war in Gaza threatens Egypt too

The war in Gaza threatens Egypt too

Although many Egyptians view Hamas as an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, most sympathize with the Palestinians. When they see the scale of casualties - for example, the death and destruction in the Shuja’iah neighborhood in Gaza - they overwhelmingly blame Israel. This is true even as their leaders express anger over Hamas’ refusal to accept ceasefire proposal.  Commentary 

Nicholas Wapshott

I’m Reagan! No, over here, I’m the real Reagan!

Although Ronald Reagan's record in raising taxes and adding to the deficit would make him ineligible to become the nominee were he still alive, the contestants of 2016 U.S. presidential race are already comparing themselves with the only Republican president whose conservative credentials are made of the same material as earned him his nickname, the “Teflon president.”  Full Article 

Kishan Singh Bisht, a jail warden in Tihar, maintains a register inside a restaurant run by the Tihar Jail authorities on Jail Road in west Delhi July 21, 2014. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

Restaurant run by Tihar convicts wins praise for politeness, hygiene

As India's capital baked in a heat wave, banker Gaurav Gupta sat down for lunch at a new air-conditioned restaurant, to be greeted by a smiling waiter who took his order for a traditional "thali" meal of flatbread, lentils, vegetables and rice. Nothing unusual, except that the employee, like most of his colleagues, is a convicted murderer serving time in Tihar Jail.  Full Article 

Keren Blankfeld

Life — if you can call it that — under Israel’s Iron Dome

I’ve become pretty great at rocket dodging. As a New Yorker living in Tel Aviv while researching a book, I never thought I’d say that. And yet it’s true: since Hamas began firing rockets into Tel Aviv on July 8, I’ve learned to move quickly. I’m witnessing just a sliver of what it’s like for Israelis trying their best to live a “normal” life in a kind of twilight zone where different rules apply.   Commentary 

Jack Shafer

Dear Mr. Murdoch: Save yourself 80 billion bucks

Getting bigger for bigness’s sake makes sense for a sumo wrestler. But does that apply to a media conglomerate? There’s a panic element to the Murdoch offer, too. At the age of 83, how many more deals can he possibly consummate? Of course, that’s what they all said when Murdoch was 73, and had not yet bought the Wall Street Journal for $5 billion. But 83 is not the new 73.  Full Article 

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