Musicians play instruments in front of the portrait of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, outside the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party office in Mumbai October 19, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

PM Modi steps up economic reforms, eyes privatisation

India promised on Monday to open up the coal industry to private players and moved closer to selling a stake in state-run oil company ONGC, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi picked up the pace on economic reform days after relaxing fuel price controls.  Full Article 

Asian shares tread water as China GDP awaited 6:00am IST

TOKYO - Asian stocks balked at the starting gate on Tuesday, as investors looked past solid gains on Wall Street overnight to Chinese economic growth figures due later in the session.

A watchman of Reliance's closed petrol station walks at Raipur Kalan village in Punjab May 7, 2010. REUTERS/Ajay Verma/Files
Deregulation Impact

Private fuel retailers to dip toe, not dive back

India's scrapping of diesel price controls opens the door for private sector refiners to return to a domestic retail market from which they have been excluded for years because they could not compete with state firms.  Read | HPCL to gain most from deregulation: Jefferies 

Smoke and flames rise over Syrian town of Kobani after an airstrike, as seen from the Mursitpinar crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, October 20, 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani

Turkey said on Monday it would allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to reinforce fellow Kurds in the Syrian town of Kobani on Turkey's border, and the United States air-dropped arms to help the Kurds there resist an Islamic State assault.  Full Article | Slideshow 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks during a Microsoft cloud briefing event in San Francisco, California October 20, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

CEO Satya Nadella's pay tops $80 million

Microsoft Corp's new Chief Executive Satya Nadella has become one the technology industry's biggest earners, with a total compensation package worth $84.3 million this year, according to a document filed with securities regulators on Monday.  Full Article | Related Story 

A broker monitors share prices at a brokerage firm in Mumbai August 9, 2011. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

Sensex rises over 1 pct on reforms, polls boost

The BSE Sensex and Nifty rose more than 1 percent on Monday to mark their biggest daily gain in more than one week after the government's energy reforms led to a rally in oil firms, while wins by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra and Haryana elections raised expectations for more reforms.  Full Article 

A pro-democracy protester sleeps over a barricade at the Mongkok shopping district of Hong Kong October 20, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

HK students, officials set for first talks on crisis

Senior Hong Kong government officials will meet student leaders for the first time on Tuesday in an attempt to defuse more than three weeks of pro-democracy protests which have brought parts of the Asian financial centre to a standstill.  Full Article 

Charli XCX arrives at the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards in Inglewood, California August 24, 2014. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian/Files

At 22, success has taken time for Charli XCX

Not everyone who is on top of the fast-moving pop music scene has heard of Charlotte Aitchison, even by her stage name Charli XCX, but lots of people have heard her or her songs.  Full Article 

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Tech Results

Oil pumping machine.

Cheap oil is no tonic for Asian economies

Cheaper oil won’t be much of a tonic for Asian economies. While painful for exporters, sliding prices should benefit consumers of crude. For most in the region, though, less expensive oil is mainly a sign that growth is stalling. The big exceptions are India and Indonesia. For them, the price slide over the past 4 months translates into significant budgetary savings.  Full Article 

D H Pai Panandiker

Targeting inflation at 4 percent

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seems to have finally taken the responsibility of targeting inflation as it is a sensitive political issue and could not be left to the discretion of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). With CPI as the anchor, the target will be 4 percent measured annually (+/-2 percent). Inflation targeting is a good game and not a difficult one. The real problem is in achieving the target.  Full Article 

Screen capture of film "Panic in the Streets".

Lessons on handling epidemics from 1950’s ‘Panic in the Streets’

The Ebola news has made me think about Elia Kazan’s crackling and moody Panic in the Streets, a 1950 thriller about a deadly bacterium that has entered New Orleans and threatens to spread. On a recent re-viewing, it definitely left me quavering — and gave me a nightmare chill I hadn’t experienced on previous occasions. The parallels to the Ebola outbreak are creepy.  Read 

Islamic State militants

Under assault, Islamic State may shift tactics

As long as Islamic State militants fight like a traditional army, with infantry, heavy weapons, vehicles and fortified positions, the United States and its allies can attack them as they would any traditional army — and beat them. But that depends on the militants cooperating. It’s evident the group is already changing its methods — a prospect that should deeply worry the rest of the world.  Commentary 

Fighting Ebola