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The Foreign Desk

Was a gay Indian academic driven to take his own life?

Amid the flurry of sad stories that filled the papers today – for instance, the awful, heart-breaking accounts of the Indian troops under deadly fire from Maoist rebels phoning their families to say good-bye – the tale of Shrinivas Ramachandra Siras caught my eye.  Siras was a professor of Marathi, one of the many Indian languages, [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Thursday, 8 April 2010 at 6:25 am

Nepal’s badminton-playing child goddess

When I last saw saw Sajani Shakya she was playing badminton with her friends and family in the ancient cobbled yard next to her house in the remarkable Nepali town of Bhaktapur.  The 10-year-old girl, considered a living goddess or Kumari by one of Nepal's ethnic groups and worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists alike, had [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 6 April 2010 at 8:03 am

Is 300,000 iPads a lot or a little?

Even the iPad's biggest cheerleaders can't decide if the launch has been a soaraway success – or a terrible disappointment.
This is The Wall Street Journal website's headline when the number came out mid-morning on Monday:
 
Apple Sells 300,000 iPads on First Day
Apple said it sold roughly 300,000 iPads in the U.S., including preorders, on the first [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 6 April 2010 at 4:41 am

Doctor Who knows no borders

I would have been quite happy to cut a cheque for £145.50 this week. Or $222.60, for that matter. The BBC is always on the list when expat conversation turns to what we miss about the Old Country, and you find few dissenters on the value-for-money Brits get from the licence fee. Maybe we should [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Saturday, 3 April 2010 at 6:07 pm

Big Pharma dodges most of the bullets

Barack Obama's gruelling battle to overhaul the healthcare system of the US sprayed gunshot in every direction, but something remarkable is visible as the smoke clears on the political killing fields: the drug industry dodged most all of the bullets. Shareholders in the likes of GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca can breathe easy – for now.
If there [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 29 March 2010 at 3:43 am

The sound of iPads smashing

By this time next week, we over this side of the pond will be able to get our hands on the Apple iPad. My hunch is that a lot of them will get smashed. It looks fiddly to handle, easy to drop. And I think a few people will get so frustrated it can only [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Saturday, 27 March 2010 at 1:51 am

Newspapers: “Rumours of our death are greatly exaggerated”

Is advertising on the side of buses really the answer to the collapse of the newspaper industry's business model?
The New York Press Association, the 157-year-old trade body representing 750 newspapers in New York state, thinks that it is. The association is launching what it calls a "comprehensive perception management and new literacy campaign to dispel myths [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Friday, 26 March 2010 at 7:02 pm

That stage-managed Tiger Woods interview: what you missed

THE BEST of Tiger's comments this afternoon came not during his interview with ESPN's reporter Tom Rinaldi, but instead during his chat The Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman, who used her feminine wiles to unpeel the onion of that comically-guarded personality.
You can read transcripts of the two stage-managed chats here and here. You can watch the ESPN one here. The Golf Channel [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 22 March 2010 at 1:04 am

For the wrong answers, turn to Greenspan

It is always worth listening to Alan Greenspan, but not any longer for the same reasons we used to. The former US Federal Reserve chairman, the wizened wiseman of laissez-faire economics, shocked us all – and probably himself – when he told a congressional panel in 2008 that he had found "a flaw in the [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Sunday, 21 March 2010 at 10:52 pm

Zero hope for Palm suitors

You know something has gone disastrously wrong when analysts start putting a $0 price target on the company's shares. So it is at Palm, which once seemed to hold the world of mobile devices in the, er, palm of its hand, but which now finds itself an also-ran in the world of souped-up phones.
Trampled [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Sunday, 21 March 2010 at 3:11 am

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