Photo taken from ISRO's official website.

ISRO tests its heaviest space launch vehicle

India's space agency successfully tested on Thursday its most powerful satellite launch vehicle that can put heavier payloads into space, and, it hopes, win India a bigger slice of the $300 billion global space industry. Once operational, the GSLV Mark III will be able to put satellites weighing about 4 tonnes into orbit.  Full Article 

Markets rally after Fed meeting; rupee gains 11:08am IST

MUMBAI - Indian markets rallied on Thursday, with the rupee rebounding from a 13-month low hit in the previous session, after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would take a "patient" approach in deciding when to raise interest rates.

Indian security force personnel stand guard on a road in New Delhi September 29, 2010. REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma/Files
Top News

India on security alert weeks before Obama trip

India has put security agencies on nationwide alert for a militant strike in the lead-up to a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama next month, citing an assault on a Pakistani school this week as a warning signal. An advisory sent out to law enforcement agencies calls for increased security at vulnerable installations such as public transport, including railways, and schools.  Full Article 

People cheer for the "Cuban Five" while holding a poster of the five Cuban intelligent agents, in Havana December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
Diplomacy

U.S., Cuba restore ties after 50 years

The United States and Cuba agreed on Wednesday to restore diplomatic ties that Washington severed more than 50 years ago, and President Barack Obama called for an end to the long economic embargo against its old Cold War enemy.  Full Article | Related Story 

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Global Economy

U.S. Fed opens door wider to rate hike

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday offered a strong signal that it was on track to raise interest rates sometime next year, altering a pledge to keep rates near zero for a "considerable time" in a show of confidence in the U.S. economy. Closing out a two-day meeting, the U.S. central bank said it would take a "patient" approach in deciding when to bump borrowing costs higher.  Full Article 

Screenshot taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLSsdI_FJKc
India's First

Rape survivor turns "superhero" in digital comic

A new comic about a rape survivor who becomes a "superhero" to fight sex crimes aims to spread the message of gender equality by targeting India's tech-savvy teens with the help of an interactive app which brings its characters to life. Inspired by Hindu mythology, the comic tells the story of Priya, a young rural woman who is gang-raped and consequently shunned by her family and community.  Full Article 

The logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone over a reserved lane for taxis in a street is seen in this photo illustration taken in Madrid on December 10, 2014. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
Safety Measures

Uber plans tighter screening for drivers

Online taxi service Uber Technologies Inc, which had a driver was accused of rape in New Delhi, said it was exploring adding new methods to verify drivers' credentials and make its service safer. Uber has started research and development on biometrics and voice verification to build tools for enhanced driver screening, Phillip Cardenas, the company's global safety, head wrote in a blog.   Article 

A security guard stands at the entrance of United Artists theater during the premiere of the film "The Interview" in Los Angeles, California December 11, 2014.  REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian

Sony Pictures pulls release of 'The Interview'

A U.S. government source said investigators had determined North Korea was behind a cyberattack on Sony Pictures as the studio pulled all plans to release its comedy, "The Interview," about an assassination attempt on the North Korean leader.  Full Article 

Lazar Markovic of Liverpool shoots to score against Bournemouth during their English League Cup quarterfinal soccer match at Goldsands Stadium in Bournemouth, southwest England, December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Liverpool getting back to their best - Rodgers

Liverpool are showing signs of reproducing their scintillating form of last season after a 3-1 win at Bournemouth in the League Cup, manager Brendan Rodgers said.  Full Article | Related Story 

Latest Headlines

Views and Expert Opinion with Sankalp Phartiyal
    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 

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