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All aboard! Making a killing with India’s genuine “duplicate gold”, The Foreign Desk

All aboard! Making a killing with India’s genuine “duplicate gold”

The bus had barely reached the outskirts of the city when it pulled to the side of the road and a man clambered aboard. In an instant he had pulled a gold chain from his pocket and looped it around the hand-rail attached to the roof and he was pulling on it hard, as if to show off its strength.

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 7 August 2012 at 9:06 am

Counting the dead in Iraq, The Foreign Desk

Counting the dead in Iraq

July was the deadliest month in the Iraq for more than two years. Is this the same country that Barack Obama declared to be a “sovereign, stable and self-reliant”?

By | The Foreign Desk | Thursday, 2 August 2012 at 9:53 pm

Creaking India hit by power and railway failures, The Foreign Desk

Creaking India hit by power and railway failures

Power supplies to half of India’s 1.2bn population have been cut for several hours today in the third example since Sunday night of how the country’s under-invested and badly managed infrastructure is creaking its way to near-collapse.

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 31 July 2012 at 3:09 pm

Supreme Court condemns India to the risk of Virtual Tigers, Notebook

Supreme Court condemns India to the risk of Virtual Tigers

Is it better for a tiger sometimes to feel harassed by hordes of noisy tourists, or be killed by poachers? That is the simple question raised by one of the most ill-advised edicts ever issued by India’s Supreme Court, which last week backed a misguided conservationist lobby and banned all tourism in the core areas of the country’s 40-plus tiger reserves.

By | Notebook, The Foreign Desk | Monday, 30 July 2012 at 12:24 pm

Can the Olympics save Syria?, Notebook

Can the Olympics save Syria?

What hope is there for the citizens of Syria? Every day brings news of new atrocities, with the lines of legitimacy increasingly blurred as the state and non-state hydras battle in a cycle of attacks, reprisals, counter-attacks and counter-reprisals.

By | Notebook, Opinion, The Foreign Desk | Thursday, 26 July 2012 at 5:00 am

Ilyumzhinov: The Chessboard Diplomat, Notebook

Ilyumzhinov: The Chessboard Diplomat

Illyumzhinov’s rule of Kalmykia, a primarily Buddhist Republic on the shores of the Caspian Sea, was characterised by a string of bizarre escapades including an alien abduction in 1997 and the campaign slogan ‘a wealthy President is a safeguard against corruption’.

By | Notebook, Opinion, The Foreign Desk | Wednesday, 25 July 2012 at 1:00 am

Islam in Thailand: A new way forward?, Notebook

Islam in Thailand: A new way forward?

It seems apt then, that last week 4000 people in Bangkok convened to discuss ways towards bettering the Muslim community, not just individually but collectively.

By | Notebook, Opinion, The Foreign Desk | Wednesday, 25 July 2012 at 12:00 am

The incredible flavours of Burma (and whether its food could become the next big thing), The Foreign Desk

The incredible flavours of Burma (and whether its food could become the next big thing)

The celebrated food writer Naomi Duguid rarely travels with either a translator or a fixed itinerary. Rather, she’d prefer to go where her eyes and taste-buds lead her and plunge into situations, hoping that with a little persistence and patience she will make herself understood and understand what people are saying to her.

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 10 July 2012 at 2:03 pm

Manmohan Singh the wrong target for “under achiever” tag, The Foreign Desk

Manmohan Singh the wrong target for “under achiever” tag

It’s open season for criticising India’s leaders. Time too, you might say – why didn’t the attacks start much earlier in the current government which has been failing for most of the time since it was elected in 2009.
Pranab Mukherjee, publicly regarded until a few weeks ago as the veteran politician on whom the government [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 9 July 2012 at 6:38 pm

This conflict in the Holy Land must end – for the children’s sake, Notebook

This conflict in the Holy Land must end – for the children’s sake

The enduring fact of the failure of peace in the so-called Holy Land is a royal spring of misery from which bitter tensions flow, with mournful consequences for the entire restive middle-east region, already strained by wars and rumours of wars.

By | Notebook, Opinion, The Foreign Desk | Monday, 9 July 2012 at 12:26 pm

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