Mohan Bhagwat, chief of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), speaks during the World Hindu Congress 2014 conference in New Delhi November 21, 2014. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

Challenging Modi, RSS to go ahead with conversions

Mohan Bhagwat, the head of India's most powerful Hindu group, vowed to press ahead with a campaign to convert Muslims and Christians to Hinduism, stoking a debate that has stalled parliament and threatened the PM's economic reform agenda.  Full Article 

U.S.-led forces launch 13 air strikes in Iraq, three in Syria 21 Dec 2014

WASHINGTON - U.S.-led forces attacked Islamic State targets on Sunday with 13 air strikes in Iraq and three in Syria, using fighter, bomber and other aircraft, the U.S. military said.

Pakistan Army soldiers (R) and rangers (L) stand guard during a patrol along a road leading to Central Jail Lahore December 20, 2014.  REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

Execution campaign widens in Pakistan

Pakistan hanged four Islamist militants on Sunday in the second set of executions since the government lifted a moratorium after the Taliban massacred 132 children and nine others at a school last week.  Story 

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
Oil Slump

Saudi Arabia says won't cut oil output

Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it would not cut output to prop up oil markets even if non-OPEC nations did so, in one of the toughest signals yet that the world's top petroleum exporter plans to ride out the market's biggest slump in years. Referring to countries outside of the OPEC, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told reporters: "If they want to cut production they are welcome: We are not going to cut."  Full Article 

U.S. President Barack Obama answers a question about the cyberattack on REUTERS/Larry Downing

Obama says Sony hack not an act of war

U.S. President Barack Obama moved to prevent U.S. anger at North Korea from spiraling out of control on Sunday by saying the massive hacking of Sony Pictures was not an act of war but instead was cyber-vandalism.  Full Article 

REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO: Australia's Steve Smith celebrates the wicket of Faf du Plessis (not in picture) during the fifth day of the third cricket test match at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town, March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Shaun Roy

Australia captain Smith fined for slow over rate

Australia captain Steve Smith was fined 60 percent of his match fee for a slow over rate in his first test as skipper in a four-wicket victory in the second test against India in Brisbane.  Full Article 

Fans of San Lorenzo cheer before the start of their final soccer match against Real Madrid in the Club World Cup at the Marrakech stadium, December 20, 2014. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Club World Cup still a hit outside Europe

Greeted with overwhelming indifference in Europe, the Club World Cup is still seen as the pinnacle of club football elsewhere as thousands of San Lorenzo fans demonstrated this week.   Full Article | Related 

Latest Headlines

A SpiceJet passenger plane moves on the runway at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel international airport in Ahmedabad January 8, 2014. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

SpiceJet rescue is no fix for India aviation woes

SpiceJet’s woes are all too familiar. India is cajoling banks to lend to the country’s second largest single-brand carrier when the debt-ridden airline needs more equity. The government’s hope is to save jobs and prevent a repeat of the failure of Kingfisher Airlines. Even if the rescue works, exorbitant fuel taxes and lack of a bankruptcy law will keep the industry stuck in an air pocket.  Full Article 

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 

Natural Disaster

Tourists walk behind a faded sign warning of tsunami hazard in Khao Lak, December 15, 2014. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

10 years on, tsunami warning stumbles at the "last mile"

As the tenth anniversary of the 2004 Tsunami disaster approaches, experts and officials say weaknesses remain across the region in a system which had been designed to warn people and get them to safer areas.  Full Article