Nepal clears India’s GMR plan for $1.4 billion hydroelectric plant 12:17am IST

KATHMANDU - Nepal’s centre-left cabinet on Thursday cleared the way for Indian firm GMR to build a $1.4 billion hydroelectric plant in the northwest of the country, a cabinet minister said, the Himalayan republic's biggest foreign investment scheme.

A worker keeps a tally at a counting centre in Aberdeen, Scotland September 18, 2014. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Scottish Referendum

Scots independence polls close

Scotland has voted on whether to stay within the United Kingdom or break the 307-year-old union in a finely balanced independence referendum with global consequences.  Full Article | Slideshow 

An employee walks past a logo of Alibaba (China) Technology Co. Ltd during a media tour organized by government officials at its headquarters on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province June 20, 2012. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/Files

Alibaba prices IPO at $68 a share

Alibaba Group Holding priced its initial public offering at $68 per share, the top end of the expected range, raising $21.8 billion on Thursday. At that price, the IPO, one of the largest-ever, would give Alibaba a market valuation of $167.6 billion.  Full Article 

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko (C) pauses while addressing a joint meeting of Congress in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 18, 2014.  REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Poroshenko gets U.S. military aid, not weapons

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko secured $53 million in assistance from the U.S. but President Barack Obama for now turned down his appeals for weapons to fight Russia-backed rebels.  Article 

General view of the military Hospital Begin in Saint-Mande, eastern Paris, September 18, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Ebola Outbreak

UN to deploy Ebola mission, death toll at 2,630

The U.N. Security Council declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a "threat to international peace and security" as the death toll hit 2,630 and France stepped up its support.  Full Article | Chronology 

Marc Abrahams, Master of ceremonies and editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, holds one of this year's prizes at the 24th First Annual Ig Nobel Prizes awards ceremony at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts September 18, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Entertainment

Study of banana peel, ugly art win Ig Nobels

Researchers who studied the slipperiness of banana peels and the ability of pork strips to stop nosebleeds were among the winners of this year's Ig Nobel prizes for comical scientific achievements.  Article 

Burberry model Neelam Gill poses on a fire escape outside her modelling agency in London September 12, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
Fashion

Burberry's Indian model conquers fashion world

Since making her debut for Burberry in 2013, Neelam Gill, the first Indian model to work for the British heritage brand, is fast becoming a rising star in the fashion world. Kathi Urban reports.  Video 

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India-US Diplomacy

China has not one property problem

China has not one property problem, but many

China’s real estate market is big enough that it can have not one property problem but many. A Breakingviews ranking of the forty biggest cities, according to different kinds of risks, shows there are huge differences between local markets. It’s not much consolation, though. A conflagration of regional problems could be just as bad as one big national one.   Full Article 

Rape myths hide crimes. Just ask these children.

Rape myths hide crimes. Just ask these children.

"Hidden in Plain Sight" is an aptly titled new study by the United Nations International Children’s Fund. It shows that one in 10 girls and young women interviewed reported being sexually abused before age 20. “These are uncomfortable facts,” one UNICEF official said of the report, the largest study on global child abuse to date. “No government or parent will want to see them.”  Commentary 

ECB’s trillion-euro race may start slowly

ECB’s trillion-euro race may start slowly

The latest parlour game in financial markets is guessing the size of the ECB’s upcoming four-year targeted long-term liquidity operations: how many banks will tap the ECB, for how much? Mario Draghi’s stated goal is to grow the ECB balance sheet back to its 2012 level. If banks’ enthusiasm for the first facility is subdued, markets may react by pushing up the euro.   Full Article 

ENVIRONMENT

Give the public a role in Clean Ganga project, says Rajendra Pachauri

Give public a role in cleaning Ganga: Pachauri

India’s holiest river is due for a clean-up, with PM Narendra Modi taking personal responsibility for restoring the Ganga and ridding the river of industrial effluents and untreated sewage. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, spoke to Reuters on the Ganga project, need for transparency and how the public could help.  Read 

INDIA INSIGHT

Director Danis Tanovic gestures during a photocall to promote the movie "Epizoda u Zivotu Beraca Zeljeza" (An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker) at the 63rd Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 13, 2013.  REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz/FIles

Hashmi is a “calm, decent guy”: Tanovic

When Danis Tanovic chose Bollywood star Emraan Hashmi to play a Pakistani whistle-blower in his new project, the Oscar-winning Bosnian film-maker wasn’t aware of the actor’s notoriety as Indian cinema’s “serial kisser”. Tanovic eventually watched some of Hashmi’s Bollywood hits and found it funny that the actor had such a different image in India.  Article 

C. Uday Bhaskar

China’s WMD cooperation with Pakistan looms over Xi-Modi talks

Over the last few decades, there is a strongly held view in New Delhi that while espousing peaceful relations, Beijing has assiduously sought to ‘contain’ India by entering into a deep and covert strategic relationship with Pakistan. Thus, it was encouraging to note that on eve of Xi’s visit to India, a Beijing official tried to assuage Indian anxieties.  Read 

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