Labourers unload wheat from a tractor trolley at a wholesale grain market on the outskirts of Amritsar May 7, 2013. REUTERS/Munish Sharma/Files

India threatens to derail WTO deal, prompts rebuke

India threatened on Friday to block a worldwide reform of custom rules, which some estimates say could add $1 trillion to the global economy and create 21 million jobs, prompting a U.S. warning that its demands could kill global trade reform efforts.  Full Article 

Nifty retreats from record highs on profit taking 6:05pm IST

MUMBAI - The broader Nifty fell on Friday after hitting a record high for a third straight day as investors took profits in blue-chips such as ICICI Bank, while IT outsourcing firms declined after Wipro's U.S. dollar revenue growth lagged rivals.

A boy rides a bicycle amid the smoke fumigated by municipal health workers in a residential colony at Noida in Uttar Pradesh August 31, 2010. REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma/Files

India battles to contain "brain fever", 568 die

Almost 570 people in India have died after contracting encephalitis, commonly known as "brain fever", health authorities said on Friday, warning the death toll may rise with more people still at risk. Major outbreaks - usually most prevalent in UP and Bihar - have spread to West Bengal and Assam.  Full Article 

A worker unloads coal from a truck inside a coal yard at Saroda village in Gujarat July 5, 2014.REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files
Mining

Basic equipment flaws undermine Coal India

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government looks to shape up Coal India Ltd for a potential major restructuring, the world's biggest coal miner still faces basic problems: it does not have enough mechanical shovels, dumpers and explosives.  Full Article 

Ravindra Jadeja (L) shakes hands with England's James Anderson after India won the second cricket test match at Lord's cricket ground in London  July 21, 2014. REUTERS/Philip Brown

Jadeja fined for Anderson fracas in first test

Ravindra Jadeja has been fined half his match fee for his involvement in an altercation with England quick bowler James Anderson during the drawn first test at Trent Bridge.  Full Article 

Palestinians prepare the graves for eight members of the Abu Jarad family, including three children, who medics said were killed by an Israeli tank shell, at a cemetery in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip July 19, 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Mideast Conflict

Even dead search for shelter from Gaza bombs

Almost half of the Gaza Strip is a no-go area shelled by Israeli ground forces during almost three weeks of fighting, sending not just the living but the dead in search of a safe place to rest.  Full Article | Slideshow 

A Pakistani soldier stands guard on a deserted street leading to the Lal Masjid or Red Mosque in Islamabad July 10, 2007. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood/Files

Army put in charge of Islamabad security

Pakistan is putting the military in charge of security in the capital, Islamabad, in case Pakistani Taliban militants try to launch attacks in response to an army offensive against them, the govt said.  Full Article 

Iraq's top cleric sends subtle message to Maliki - step aside

Ayatollah's message to Iraq PM: step aside

Iraq's senior cleric on Friday urged political leaders to refrain from clinging to their posts - an apparent reference to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who has defied demands that he step aside.  Full Article 

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Shashank Chouhan

Ex-Supreme Court judge Katju stirs the pot

Comments by retired Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju had parliament in uproar. In a blog post published by the Times of India, the chairman of Press Council of India hinted at a connection between the government and judiciary in the elevation of an allegedly corrupt judge. This isn’t the first time that the man heading India’s print media oversight body has stirred the pot.  Full Article 

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 

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 

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